Project Presentation – How the Project "Stop Sepsis in Croatia" from CNSARICT Is Saving Lives in Croatia

In June, we announced the winners of the 2019 Global Sepsis Awards. In addition to the five winners, nine other entities were commended for their valuable contribution in the global fight against sepsis.

Over the coming months, we will give both the 2019 GSA Award Winners as well as the activities and initiatives by the entities that were commended the possibility to share their projects and initiatives in more detail on our websites, and after our colleagues from Italy in June, we would like to introduce you to the project “Stop Sepsis in Croatia” today.

 

“Stop Sepsis in Croatia” – Croatian Nurses Society of Anesthesiology, Reanimatology, Intensive Care and Transfusion (CNSARICT)

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CNSARICT is a non-profit organization established in 2005 in order to organize continuous education for nurses all around the country, and to spread information, recommendations and knowledge with patients and the rest of community. CNSARICT has recognized the burden of sepsis in hospitals and outside hospitals, therefore we signed the World Sepsis Declaration and joined the Global Sepsis Alliance in March 2014. Since then, the project „Stop Sepsis in Croatia“ has achieved significant successes in hospitals and also among the public and Ministry of Health.

We are the only society in Croatia that has managed to initiate many activities in order to strengthen awareness of sepsis and do some changes regarding early recognition of sepsis symptoms. We have managed to reach the public and health professionals across the country trough online sites and magazines, symposiums and congresses, public appearances, media, radio, and television appearances, activities within the hospitals in Croatia, collaborating with relevant ministries in Croatia, promoting the campaign „Stop Sepsis in Croatia“ and World Sepsis Day beyond the borders of Croatia.

CNSARICT has achieved significant contribution for the improvement of sepsis awareness and sepsis prevention on the national and international level through the campaign „Stop Sepsis in Croatia“. Within the campaign, nurses from all parts of Croatia have volunteered and enthusiastically carried out every action planned. Special thanks to Adriano, Martina, Željka, Ankica, Mateja, Štefanija, Josip, Zvjezdana, Gloria, Cecilija, Sandro and a big thank you to their teams! Coordinator of the campaign is Jelena Slijepčević, RN, BsN, MsN.

For more information about our campaign, please visit our Facebook page.


The Global Sepsis Awards, which are sponsored by the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, honor outstanding efforts to increase sepsis awareness and raise the quality of sepsis prevention and management.

The awards are granted in three categories, namely governments and healthcare authorities, non-governmental organizations, patient advocate or healthcare provider groups, and individuals, consistent with the aims of the World Sepsis Declaration and the World Sepsis Day Movement.

Winners in category II and III will receive $2,500 prize money each. Applications and nominations for the 2020 GSA Awards open in January 2020 and close on March 31st, 2020.


Marvin Zick
Online Course: Integral Management of Septic Patients, Starting July 25th
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The online course ‘Integral Management of Septic Patients’ is organized by the Continuing Medical Education Network (RedEMC Intensive Medicine and RedEMC Infectology), with the educational, informatics, and logistics management of Evimed. The course will be online, in Spanish, from July 25 to September 18, 2019, with high interactive components and video conferences by experts in the specialty.

This online course is an excellent opportunity for continuous learning. The flexibility of online activities allows participants to access the course from anywhere at any time, and to discuss the topics with their colleagues in the region as well as international experts.

The Global Sepsis Alliance endorses this innovative online course and encourages our Spanish-speaking colleagues and friends to participate.

Marvin Zick
Updated Website Graphics and New World Sepsis Day Flyer
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Notice anything different today? We have updated almost every single one of the graphics on this website to make it easier to navigate, more pleasant on the eyes, and to better match our visual identity. In addition, we have decreased the file sizes wherever possible, so everything should load a little bit faster/chew up less of your precious data plan. As always, please let us know what you think of these changes - we read and appreciate every comment.

As you might have seen already, there is also an updated World Sepsis Day Flyer, available in the toolkit ‘event material’ as well as in the toolkit ‘documents and facts’ in our WSD Toolkit Section. Both toolkits include detailed printing instructions. Said flyer can be personalized for your organization - just contact us if you are interested.

Marvin Zick
Ellie’s Sepsis Story - How Surviving Sepsis Opened up a New Perspective on Life
Ellie Duncan Sepsis Survivor at a beach in Australia

August 16th was the day my life changed forever.

On August 14th, I was supposed to captain my school hockey team in my last ever quadrangular hockey tournament. In the early hours of the morning I woke up vomiting which kept me up till the morning. It got to midday, and I had stopped vomiting, so I thought that I would go and watch my team play. Being a regularly fit and healthy person, being ill was very rare for me, so I did not imagine anything, which was soon to be changed, so extreme.

Initially, I just thought I had an upset stomach, or some sort of bug as the vomiting stopped during the day. However, it had become the evening of the 14th when the vomiting started again, which kept me up all night. After a little bit of sleep I woke up on the morning of the 15th with an unusually sore lower right leg. I concluded that I just had a cramp from dehydration after all of the vomiting so I decided to stretch my leg out. Again, I went to the hockey turf and watched my team play. Afterwards, I went out for coffee and sat down for a while, but when I went to stand up to leave I couldn’t actually walk on my leg which was in a significant amount of pain. Again thinking it was cramp, I went to see my physio to get checked. In an attempt to stretch it out, the physio put me on a spin bike. This didn’t work so I was sent home with a pair of crutches and some electrolytes. Later that evening, I had lost my appetite and was feeling very feverish so my mum decided to take me to the urgent doctors. After waiting for about an hour in the waiting room, feeling very agitated and uneasy, I was told by the doctor that I had ‘some sort of virus attacking my muscles’ so was sent home with paracetamol and a recommendation for my mum to check up on me every now and then throughout the night.

During the night, I woke up with extreme vomiting - it was then I knew something was seriously wrong so we decided to go down to the hospital. As I was explaining my situation to the triage nurse I told them I was feeling like vomiting again so I was taken straight in and put on fluids. They started taking bloods, and as they were doing this I was told that generally they wouldn’t do this to patients whom they thought had gastro as it was risky for them to be without isolation in regard to its ease of transmission. However, as they were still very unsure of my condition I was put in isolation due to my bloods coming back with unusual results. My blood pressure was very low and my right leg pain was getting increasingly worse so I was on constant monitoring in the ED with an advise to all those entering my room to kit up in full protective gear in an attempt to avoid the transmission of the suspected gastro bug.

After a night in the emergency department, I was shifted into a general ward. Still unknown of my condition I remained in isolation while I was put through tests. My bloods were still coming back with concerning results so I was put on precautionary antibiotics as I was showing the signs of some sort of infection. After being put on IV antibiotics I was sent to have an ultrasound on my leg. After a lot of waiting around without an answer as to what was going on due to legalities as to who was allowed to tell me what they thought I had going on, I was sent back to my room.

Later that evening, I was visited by a team of doctors who told me to prepare for bad news. I was told that I had a very large deep vein thrombosis that run from the top of the groin to the bottom of the knee and it was of large concern. I was also told that I had a very unusual infection going on that was not responding to the general antibiotics which was of higher priority due to the fact that if the infection did not respond, all sorts of complications could arise, such as organ failure etc. This put me in a very high risk position so it was then that I was moved to the coronary care unit for constant monitoring. Later in the week, I was told by my parents that it was at this point that the doctors had a meeting with them highlighting how serious my case actually was. They basically said that I was a very, very sick girl and if I had not gone to the emergency department when I did at midnight on the 15th, by the morning of the 16th it was likely that the infection present in my blood would have taken my life.

My first night in the ICU was hectic. I was immediately put through plasma infusions due to the fact that my blood was too thick from all of the fluids I had taken since arriving at the hospital. The plasma infusions would attempt to prepare my blood for thinning which was the next step to try and sort out the DVT in my leg. It was also at this point that I was going through different strains of antibiotics of which I still wasn’t responding to. This was the highest priority as it was concluded I had sepsis from an unknown source. This was frustrating the doctors immensely, as if the source was known, we could possibly target a specific area of where the infection was originating. Also during this time, options were considered as to how the DVT was to be dealt with, options such as temporarily shutting me off from the waist down and operating to open up the leg were considered but due to my leg still being responsive, the option of IV heparin was chosen.

I went through a day of not being able to speak due to weakness, this really hit home to the close family visiting me. In retrospect, I find it funny how during that time of extreme pain I remained so positive – I guess I didn’t know the severity of my illness and the other option as to how the events could’ve played out…which helped a lot.

For the remainder of the week, I went through highs and lows. I started to respond to a strain of antibiotics which was extremely positive. However, I did go through days where extracting blood became very difficult and one day I did notice a pain in my chest that had made breathing very difficult and painful. After testing, this turned out to be a pulmonary embolism that had caused internal bleeding in my lungs. This was extremely painful and was what was earlier in the week described by the doctor as one of the main worries of what the DVT could progress to. I was lucky in some sense that the PE went to my lung rather than other areas such as the heart or it could’ve been a totally different story. Throughout the week, ICU continued regular testing to assess whether I should stay in the ICU.

My case started to become known throughout the hospital as the ’18 year old in the coronary care unit’ as it was very unusual to see someone so young, with such a rare illness for my age in a coronary care unit alongside patients somewhat 60 years older than me. I eventually progressed throughout the week to the point where I was fit enough to be discharged in a wheelchair 10 kilograms lighter with the remainder of the clot still present in my leg and a right lung in which the PE had killed some of its tissue.

This experience really opened up to me what actually matters most in life when you are left fighting for it. To me, positivity was key – if I didn’t think I was going to make it then I believe that the process would’ve been a lot tougher. As much pain as I went through both mentally and physically, I can still admit that the experience has changed me for the better, my outlook on life is focused now on treasuring every moment as I now know how fragile life can be. I am now so passionate about the global fight against sepsis and am so incredibly humbled to be able to share my story alongside some incredible people.


The article above was written by Ellie Duncan and is shared here with her explicit consent. The views in the article do not necessarily represent those of the Global Sepsis Alliance. They are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The whole team here at the GSA and World Sepsis Day wishes to thank Ellie for sharing her story and for fighting to raise awareness of sepsis.


Please consider donating to WSD to support our cause.

Marvin Zick
Project Presentation – How the "Catania Sepsis Net-Working" Project Is Making a Difference in Italy
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Earlier this month, we announced the winners of the 2019 Global Sepsis Awards. In addition to the five winners, nine other entities were commended for their valuable contribution in the global fight against sepsis.

Over the coming months, we will give both the 2019 GSA Award Winners as well as the activities and initiatives by the entities that were commended the possibility to share their projects and initiatives in more detail on our websites, starting today with the “U.O. Quality Management and Patients Safety – Azienda Ospedaliero – Universitaria Catania” from Italy.

 

The U.O. Quality Management and Patients Safety – Azienda Ospedaliero – Universitaria Catania, Italy

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The “Catania Sepsis Net-Working ” project has the purpose to reduce the mortality from sepsis in the hospitals of Catania.

A Multidisciplinary Team (MT) has produced a document that shown 10 best practices of sepsis management. Approximately 900 health workers were involved in training activities about best practices.

Periodically, a group of auditors (physicians and nurses), examines the clinical records and collects the data through an IT-platform.

We promoted different awareness-raising activities: the involvement of sepsis survivors and parents, Davide Morana (2018) and Melissa Mead (2017); the organization of a posters competition about sepsis for resident physicians; a basket tournament for the students of medicine school .

We registered from 2015 to 2018 an increase of cases of sepsis or septic shock diagnosis (from 109 to 694 cases), an increase of complete clinical evaluation for patients arriving in the ED (from 63.2% to 79.8%) and we registered also a statistically significant difference, related to the number of good practices for patient in the first hour of arrival at the ED (at least 6 and 8 good practices) .

The increase of sepsis cases numbers would seem to demonstrate an increase in awareness of sepsis by our hospital physicians as evidence of our improvement initiatives.

The future of our improvement program will be to continue sharing knowledge and to disseminate and support a best practice culture. We will, also, hold a training event on September 13, 2019, we will distribute watches for the EDs of all the Catania hospitals upon which will be written "time is life: think about sepsis", we will organize a basketball tournament, 2nd edition, for the students of medicine school. We will repropose posters competition for resident physicians. Young nurses will organize a photo exhibition on the theme "time is life: think about sepsis".


The Global Sepsis Awards, which are sponsored by the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, honor outstanding efforts to increase sepsis awareness and raise the quality of sepsis prevention and management.

The awards are granted in three categories, namely governments and healthcare authorities, non-governmental organizations, patient advocate or healthcare provider groups, and individuals, consistent with the aims of the World Sepsis Declaration and the World Sepsis Day Movement.

Winners in category II and III will receive $2,500 prize money each. Applications and nominations for the 2020 GSA Awards open in January 2020 and close on March 31st, 2020.


Marvin Zick
Sepsis Awareness Posters - Now Available as a Free Download in Our Toolkit Section
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Today, we are excited to welcome the newest addition to our ever-growing toolkit section - sepsis awareness posters!

The following 5 posters are available:

  • Sepsis - A Global Health Crisis

  • Symptoms of Sepsis

  • Sources of Sepsis

  • Prevention of Sepsis

  • Risk Groups of Sepsis

All posters are A3 (297 × 420 millimeters, 11.69 × 16.54 inches), PDF, and optimized for print. They are a quick and free download in our toolkit section.

Over time, we will add more posters as well as more languages – stay tuned.

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback - please tell us what you like about the posters, but especially what you don’t like or what could be improved - we really do look forward to hearing from you!

Marvin Zick
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019 Global Sepsis Awards
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The Global Sepsis Awards, which are sponsored by the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, honor outstanding efforts to increase sepsis awareness and raise the quality of sepsis prevention and management. The awards are granted in three categories, namely governments and healthcare authorities, non-governmental organizations, patient advocate or healthcare provider groups, and individuals, consistent with the aims of the World Sepsis Declaration and the World Sepsis Day Movement.

 

WINNERS CATEGORY I - GOVERNMENTS AND HEALTHCARE AUTHORITIES

The winner in category I is the Health Service Executive from Dublin, Ireland.

 
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The Health Service Executive is awarded for its efforts to improve sepsis care in Ireland. The jury was particularly impressed with what the HSE has achieved in only a few years in Ireland, especially by improving recognition in the Emergency Department and in the in-patient, with all clinicians involved in acute patient care expected to recognize the at risk patient who is deteriorating due to infection and to start the Sepsis Six Bundle. Since 2016, the HSE publishes an annual outcome report, demonstrating an absolute reduction of 5% in mortality (20% relative reduction) hospital-wide. Lastly, the jury was impressed by tests of maternity and pediatric sepsis programs which are currently being rolled out across Ireland, and which could serve as a blueprint for other healthcare systems and countries in the future.

 

Winners Category II - Non-governmental organizations, patient advocate groups, or healthcare provider groups

The winners in category II are the German Sepsis Aid and the African Sepsis Alliance.

 
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The German Sepsis Aid (German: Deutsche Sepsis-Hilfe e.V., DSH) is the world's first association of sepsis patients and their relatives. Their common goal is to raise awareness for the symptoms of sepsis and to fight the often lasting sequelae of this disease.

The jury awarded the German Sepsis Aid with the GSA Award for the following longtime achievements:

  • Providing a unique platform for sepsis survivors and their families to connect with each other, to share experiences, to find support and to attend trainings.

  • Establishing the "sepsis-hotline”, a telephone-helpline that was set up for those who have questions about sepsis. The number is 0700-737747-00. Specific medical questions can be forwarded to physicians who volunteer for German Sepsis Aid or to cooperating departments of the University Hospital Jena.

  • Providing the booklet “Information for Patients and Relatives”, with useful information about sepsis as well as numerous personal reports of sepsis patients. So far, this booklet has been sent to 2,350 representatives of ICU`s in Germany.

  • The DSH has been a supporter of World Sepsis Day for years and hosts events for WSD in Jena.

On request, the German Sepsis Aid is able to organize public training events on the subject of sepsis. The DSH provides information on its homepage and their Facebook page.

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The African Sepsis Alliance (ASA) under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Nsutebu became the driving force for sepsis activities in Africa. The jury awarded the African Sepsis Alliance with the GSA Award for the following achievements:

  • The ASA published the Kampala declaration and campaign, drawing attention to the priorities for sepsis improvement in Africa. With over 2,500 signatories representing over 100 countries to date, the declaration demonstrates the multidisciplinary and wide-ranging response it planned to invoke at the patient, health facility, societal, and governmental level.

  • ASA is working with the Sudan Sepsis Alliance and Global Sepsis Alliance to produce the Khartoum Resolution. Said resolution commits the Khartoum Minister of Health to host a conference of African Ministers of Health to develop a strategy for sepsis improvement in Africa.

 

Winners Category III - Individual Nominees

The winners in category III are Prof. Dr. Necmettin Unal from Turkey and Dr. Rasha Ashour from Qatar.

 
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Professor Necmettin Unal was awarded because under his presidency, the Turkish Society of Intensive Care developed and implemented a national strategy to fight sepsis in Turkey. Highlights of this strategy between 2014 and 2019 were:

  • Developing and conducting a sepsis education program for health care professionals, with participation of over 47,000 health care professional from 79 cities in Turkey.

  • Conducting a study on the knowledge of lay people in Turkey with more than 1,600 participants. This study demonstrated that only 11% did know the word sepsis.

  • Conducting a knowledge evaluation survey on medical students that included more than 7,000 students from 30 medical faculties.

  • Organizer and co-author of the first study on sepsis epidemiology in Turkish intensive care units, which was published in an international journal.

  • Organizer of press conferences with broad coverage in national print and TV media in context of World Sepsis Day.

  • Organizer of awareness and education activities of 95 rotary clubs within Rotary district 2430.

 
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Dr. Rasha Ashour from Sidra Medicine in Qatar is awarded for her efforts to create and implement a national sepsis initiative across Qatar. This program includes approved sepsis guidelines with standardized reliable evidence-based clinical care pathways for pediatric sepsis, which were shared with all Qatar healthcare facilities through the national patient safety collaborative in 2018.

She and her team are collecting data with the aim of decreasing mortality in pediatric patients with sepsis through increasing compliance to the Pediatric Sepsis Six Bundle of Care to 95% by end of December 2019 in all pediatric facilities in Qatar.

They also created a pediatric sepsis eLearning module, mandatory for all pediatricians, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals every two years.

Lastly, she and her team also developed a pediatric sepsis order set as well as the ‘golden hour’ order set to assure the order includes the Sepsis Six Bundle of Care within 60 minutes.


In addition to the 2019 GSA Award Winners above, the following organizations and individuals who have applied or have been nominated for the 2019 GSA Awards were honored by the GSA Award Jury for their excellent activities with a Certificate of Commendation:

  • Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, US

  • Ohio Hospital Association, US

  • Croatian Society of Nurses in Anesthesiology, Reanimatology, Intensive Care and Transfusion, Croatia

  • U.O. Quality management and patients safety - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Catania, Italy

  • Sepsisfonden, Sweden

  • Home Care Association of New York State, US

  • Annabelle Carter-Finch, US

  • Lisa Bartlett, US

  • Luciano Acevedo, Brazil


Over the coming months, we will give both the 2019 GSA Award Winners as well as the activities and initiatives by the entities that were commended the possibility to share their projects and initiatives in more detail on our websites.

We would like to once again applaud all activities in the fight against sepsis and encourage others to become involved in raising awareness of sepsis.


Congratulations again to all 2019 GSA Award Winners.
All awardees will receive their trophy and certificate at an upcoming international congress. Winners in category II and III will receive $2,500 prize money each. A huge thanks to everybody who applied. Applications and nominations for the 2020 GSA Award open in January 2020 and close on March 31st, 2020.

Marvin Zick
The GSA Is Hiring - Apply Now to Become Our New Head of Regional Sepsis Alliances
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We are looking for a
Head of Regional Sepsis Alliances
to become our fourth team member. You will be working full-time (40h a week) at the World Sepsis Day Head Office in Berlin, Germany. Home office arrangements, particularly in Brussels, will be considered.

 

About Us

The Global Sepsis Alliance is an international non-profit charity organization with the mission to provide global leadership to reduce the worldwide burden of sepsis. The GSA is the initiator of World Sepsis Day on September 13 and World Sepsis Congress, a series of free online congresses bringing knowledge about sepsis to all parts of the world, among other initiatives.

The GSA works closely with its over 90 member organizations, patient advocacy groups, professional societies, healthcare authorities, and governments to implement changes on how sepsis is prioritized, diagnosed, and treated all around the world, as laid out by the WHO Resolution on Sepsis.

 

Tasks

  • Closely work with GSA Members, international stakeholders, and national governments to coordinate the implementation of the demands of the WHO Resolution on Sepsis

  • Support the creation, development, and implementation of national action plans

  • Support the creation and development of regional sepsis alliances, especially the European Sepsis Alliance and the African Sepsis Alliance

  • Represent the ESA towards EU policy makers (in Brussels and in national governments), in collaboration with GSA leadership, as Head of the European Sepsis Alliance

 

Requirements

  • Experience in project management, preferably with geographically dispersed teams

  • Experience in working in a government affairs role, ideally with a charitable

    organization/non-profit

  • Reliability and ability to work unsupervised

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and another European

    language (preferably German or French)

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail

  • Basic knowledge of medical concepts and terms and experience in working with the

    medical community would be an advantage

 

We offer

  • Diversified, exciting challenge in the fast-growing healthcare sector

  • Opportunity to collaborate with renowned experts and key opinion leaders who are world-class in their particular area of expertise

  • Opportunity to help shape sustainable structures in this young non-profit organization with flat hierarchies

 

If you can identify yourself with the above requirements, we look forward to receiving your application documents via our website no later than Sunday, June 30th, 2019. We ensure absolute discretion. With equal qualifications, severely disabled are preferred.

Marvin Zick