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World Sepsis Declaration
Worldwide, sepsis is one of the most common deadly diseases. It is one of the few conditions to strike with equal ferocity in resource-poor areas and in the developed world.
In the developed world, sepsis is dramatically increasing by an annual rate of between 8-13 % over the last decade, and now claims more lives than bowel and breast cancer combined. Reasons are diverse, but include the aging population, increasing use of high-risk interventions in all age groups, and the development of drug-resistant and more virulent varieties of infections. In the developing world malnutrition, poverty, lack of access to vaccines and timely treatment all contribute to death.
Despite its remarkable incidence, sepsis is practically unknown to the public and is often misunderstood as blood poisoning. Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It may lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis remains the primary cause of death from infection despite advances in modern medicine, including vaccines, antibiotics, and acute care with hospital mortality rates between 30 and 60%.
To stem the rising tide and take appropriate steps to ultimately reverse the global increase in the numbers of deaths from sepsis, we - the global sepsis community - issue this common call to worldwide action.
We ask all relevant stakeholders, by committing to the goals and key targets set out below, to initiate necessary priority actions, and to secure resources and support from governments, development agencies, professional organizations and health care commissioning groups, philanthropists and benefactors, the private sector and all of society.
We call on each country to formalize a nationally achievable, staged development plan intended to deliver these targets by 2020.
- Place sepsis on the development agenda. The Declaration will increase the political priority given to sepsis by raising awareness of the growing medical and economic burden of sepsis.
- Ensure that sufficient treatment and rehabilitation facilities and well-trained staff are available for the acute and long term care of sepsis patients.
- Support the implementation of international sepsis guidelines to improve earlier recognition and more effective treatment of sepsis and enable adequate prevention and therapy for all people throughout the world.
Mobilize stakeholders to ensure that strategies to prevent and control the impact of sepsis globally are targeted at those who are most in need.
- Involve sepsis survivors and those bereaved by sepsis in planning strategies to decrease sepsis incidence and improve sepsis outcomes at local and national levels.
Key targets to be achieved by 2020:
The incidence of sepsis will decrease globally through strategies to prevent sepsis
- By 2020, the incidence of sepsis will have decreased by at least 20% by promoting practices
of good general hygiene and hand washing, clean deliveries, improvements in sanitation, nutrition and delivery of clean water and through vaccination programs for at risk patient populations in resource poor areas.
Sepsis survival will increase for children (including neonates) and adults in all countries through the promotion and adoption of early recognition systems and standardized
- By 2020, at least two-thirds of acute health systems and community and primary care organizations in participating countries will support the Declaration and have incorporated routine sepsis screening into the care of the acutely ill patient.
- By 2020, sustainable delivery systems will be in place to ensure that effective sepsis control programs are available in all countries. All countries will be monitoring time taken for patients with sepsis to receive the most important basic interventions, antimicrobials and intravenous fluids in accordance with international consensus guidelines.
- By 2020, we intend that survival rates from sepsis for children (including neonates) and adults will have improved by a further 10% from their levels at 2012. This will be monitored and demonstrated through the establishment of sepsis registries, and is intended to build upon the improvements seen following the launch of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and the International Pediatric Sepsis Initiative.
Public and professional understanding and awareness of sepsis will improve
- By 2020, sepsis will have become a household word and synonymous with the need for emergent intervention. Lay people will much better understand what the early warning signs
of sepsis are. Families’ expectations of delivery of care will have risen such that delays are
- By 2020, all member countries will have established learning needs for sepsis among health professionals and ensured the inclusion of training on sepsis as a medical emergency in all relevant undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Recognition of sepsis by health professionals as a common complication of high risk medical interventions will have significantly improved, thereby reducing the numbers of patients who become exposed to the risk.
Access to appropriate rehabilitation services will have improved for all patients worldwide
- By 2020, all member countries will have set standards and established resources for
the provision of follow up care following discharge from hospitals of patients who have
The measurement of the global burden of sepsis and the impact of sepsis control and management interventions will have improved significantly
- By 2020, all member countries will have established voluntary or mandated sepsis registries which are consistent with and complementary to the data requirements of the international community, helping to establish sepsis as a common health problem. The international community will be working toward the establishment of an international sepsis registry.
Download ... 2017_WSD_Declaration_English.pdf
... Click here to sign the World Sepsis Declaration
Over the past year we've been collecting the questions we receive most frequently about sepsis. Please share this information with your friends and family. Don’t see your question on the list? Get in touch with us, and we’ll do our best to help.
Sepsis is common and often deadly. It remains the primary cause of death from infection, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines, antibiotics, and intensive care.
What is sepsis
Pat had a pneumococcus sepsis because he lost his spleen after a car accident as a teenager. He experienced multiple organ failure, followed by critical illness polyneuropathy.
How to prevent sepsis
Sepsis is always caused by an infection, most often by bacteria, but sometimes by fungi or protozoa (such as malaria). That means that preventing infection is one of the best ways to prevent sepsis.
If you, a relative, or a patient feels "severely sick", "that something is wrong", or "are not yourself", and shows any of the following symptoms, you should suspect sepsis: