World Sepsis Day September 13th, 2014: Death from Ebola Sepsis in West Africa and 8 Million Sepsis Deaths Annually Worldwide - A call to action

Preventing infections and fighting Sepsis to save 800.000 lives each year

London, Jena, 11 September. The current outbreak of the Ebola virus is unprecedented. The Global Sepsis Alliance fully supports the call of WHO's Director-General M. Chan that the international community will need to gear up its support. The Ebola virus is one of hundreds of pathogens that may cause a deadly Sepsis. Sepsis, often called "blood poisoning", is the common final pathway from acute infections. Sepsis requires urgent specific treatment to counteract circulatory and organ failure. Sepsis is the main reason why worldwide infections are the second number cause of death. Sixty percent of deaths of under five year olds are due to Sepsis and Sepsis is one of the major causes of maternal death. Sepsis is a growing threat worldwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued that Sepsis cases have increased in the U.S. from 621.000 in the year 2000 up to 1.141.000 in 2008 (http://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/basic/qa.html).

At least 10 to 15% of Sepsis deaths are avoidable by: vaccination, hygienic measures, early detection, and prompt treatment measures. Hospitals and healthcare institutions need to do all that is practicable to eliminate hospital-acquired infections. However, as close to 50% of Sepsis cases develop outside the hospital efforts to increase recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis should also be within the Emergency Departments, Physician Offices and Urgent Care Centers. Suspect Sepsis when some of the following signs are present: fever, shivering, altered mental status, shortness of breath, drop in blood pressure and elevated heart rate. We call to governments around the world to evaluate their healthcare systems' response to Sepsis and take action to reduce the impact of this killer disease i.e. by national action plans and financing of Sepsis awareness campaigns and research in a similar scale to that which has made the global fight against AIDS so successful.

More information: www.world-sepsis-day.org

Contact: Konrad Reinhart MD, press@world-sepsis-day.org, T +49-3641-9323101