Sept. 13 is First World Sepsis Day

The first-ever World Sepsis Day (WSD) is being held on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, with events hosted across the world in London, New York, Berlin and Beijing. As part of the global effort to draw attention to this deadly disease, the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) events are being held with attendance from key government officials, medical professionals, academics, sepsis survivors and members of the public.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognized early and treated promptly. It is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines, antibiotics and acute care, it kills over 10,000 people worldwide every day. It is a medical emergency, and timing is critical; if diagnosed and treated in the first hour of the infection a patient has more than an 80 percent survival rate, yet after the sixth hour the patient only has a 30 percent survival rate. Incidence is increasing at a rate of 8-13% in the developed world annually.

Dr. Ron Daniels, chief executive of the GSA comments, The statistics associated with sepsis have dramatic implications for global efforts to eliminate disease. Sepsis is a medical emergency and requires a worldwide effort to educate and engage both the general public and political powers, to take steps required to tackle its growing number of victims.

Konrad Reinhart, executive director of Global Sepsis Alliance, says, Rapid initiation of simple, timely interventions can halve the risk of dying. Early sepsis treatment is cost effective and reduces hospital and critical care bed days for patients. Unfortunately, sepsis is still mostly overlooked and recognized too late.

Events to mark World Sepsis Day are taking place in more than 40 countries and in many institutions all around the world, with support from over 2,000 hospitals, medical professionals and institutions.

Attendees will be discussing the targets set out in the World Sepsis Declaration. The targets, which are due to be achieved by 2020 include:

1. Reduction of the incidence of sepsis

2. Increase in sepsis survival for both children and adults

3. Improvement in the public and professional understanding and awareness of sepsis

4. Improved access to appropriate rehabilitation services for sepsis patients

5. The measurement of the global burden of sepsis and the impact of sepsis control and management interventions will have improved significantly.