Governor Cuomo Signs Law Introducing Sepsis Education Curriculum to all New York State Schools

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The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention applauds passage of ‘Rory Staunton’s Law’, which makes New York State the first in the nation to provide comprehensive K-12 sepsis education for every child.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed Rory Staunton’s Law (Bill A6053A). The bill directs the commissioner of education to collaborate with the department of health and other health organizations to establish regulations for sepsis awareness and prevention programs for school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and non public schools in New York State. New York is the first state in the nation to provide sepsis modules, free of charge, to every school. Governor Cuomo has a history of supporting policies to combat sepsis: In 2013, he signed Rory’s Regulations into law, requiring all hospitals to adopt evidence-based sepsis protocols. These protocols have saved more than 5,000 New York lives.

The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention (http://www.rorystauntonfoundationforsepsis.org), in collaboration with the New York Departments of Health and Education and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), has produced the sepsis curriculum. It promotes a ‘back to basics’ approach to preventing infection, educates students about the risks and signs of sepsis and encourages young people educate others in the community about infection and sepsis by devising public health awareness campaigns. The lessons and associated resources are available through the Rory Staunton Foundation website, the New York State Department of Education site, and on the American Federation of Teachers award-winning Share My Lesson Platform, which is utilized by more than 1.2 million teachers nationwide. In addition to lesson plans, the curriculum includes tools to engage students, parents and teachers, including a read-along picture book for young children (Ouch! I Got a Cut!) and an animated two-minute video about the dangers and signs of sepsis (Sepsis: What You Need to Know to Save a Life, available at https://youtu.be/7f_FxKGEk4E).

This Bill was introduced in the New York Assembly by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens. “It has been a great honor to work with the Staunton family on developing this legislation on sepsis awareness and education,” said Assemblywoman Nolan. “Rory Staunton was a wonderful young man who was taken from us by a deadly infection. His parents have bravely dedicated themselves to making changes and educating others to save lives. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing Rory Staunton’s law. The work of the Staunton family will save lives and insure that Rory Staunton will always be remembered.”

The Rory Staunton Foundation was established by Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton, whose 12-year-old son, Rory, lost his life to sepsis in 2012. Rory fell and grazed his arm at his school in Queens, New York, and died four days later from undiagnosed, untreated sepsis. “We are immensely proud and grateful that, at last, every child in New York State will have the tools and knowledge they need to protect themselves and their loved ones from sepsis,” said Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton. “Once again, New York State has led the way in providing pragmatic solutions for defeating sepsis, a condition that shatters families like our own on a daily basis.”

Sepsis, a potentially fatal condition stemming from infection, claims more lives in the United States than AIDS, breast and prostate cancers, and stroke combined and costs the U.S. healthcare system $24 billion per year, according the American Medical Association. Yet sepsis is unknown to most Americans. This lack of awareness is partly responsible for the catastrophic death toll as rapid diagnosis followed by antibiotics are essential to survival.

About the Rory Staunton Foundation
The Rory Staunton Foundation was established by Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton following the preventable death of their 12-year-old son, Rory, from sepsis in 2012. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the recognition and treatment of sepsis through public education and improved hospital protocols. Sepsis is the leading cause of death for infants and children worldwide.

http://www.RoryStauntonFoundationForSepsis.org

https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb204-Most-Expensive-Hospital-Conditions.jsp