CDC Heeds Calls for a National Response to Sepsis, Launches Report & Awareness Initiative

Rory Staunton, Rory Staunton Foundation, CDC, Sepsis, launches

When Rory died, the dreadful realization that I would never see his beautiful smiling face and sit and quietly watch him make his way through life very slowly seeped through every bone in my body. The reality that he is dead still drowns our family.

During Rory’s time in hospital we had begged God, besieged everyone who would listen to help us save him. Ciaran and I were told after his death that what he died from was extremely rare – we thought naively at the time… that means no-one could have spotted it, no doctor could have helped us.

But we painfully discovered very soon after his death, that the facts didn’t back up the statement that he had died from something rare. We now know that Rory died from sepsis, that sepsis kills over 258,000 American every year and that most people who become septic arrive at the hospital already very sick. The awful truth for us is that the medical professionals we entrusted with Rory’s care didn’t do what they should have been doing. They should have been looking for sepsis, they didn’t and Rory is dead. If they had diagnosed sepsis and treated him with broad spectrum antibiotics and IV fluids he would be alive.

We have been on a long journey for justice for Rory ever since and along the way we have changed the system in the United States. It has not been an easy journey, in fact at times it was torturous, phone call after phone call, meeting after meeting, but today the good news is that the CDC have launched a major new campaign and channeled millions of dollars to educate healthcare professionals and the general public about sepsis. They have released a Vital Signs report that clearly states that most sepsis cases are acquired in the community and that infection prevention is the single most important this we can do to end unnecessary deaths from sepsis. The education tools, resources and seminars the CDC have put together are nothing short of a major breakthrough in how sepsis is viewed and addressed in this country.

We are proud of our role in bringing this to pass. We are relieved that health care workers and parents will learn more about sepsis from the CDC. Every life is precious. Although we are heartsick that this did not come about soon enough for our boy, we hope and believe that it will save other lives and we are heartened by the fact that it is still possible for a small group of people to affect change on a national scale.

CDC Sepsis Campaign Resources & Reports

Sepsis webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/sepsis/index.html

Sepsis Fact Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2016-08-vitalsigns.pdf

Vital Signs Report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6533e1.htm?s_cid=mm6533e1_w