U.S. Senate Health Committee Vows Action on Sepsis

Senator Tom Harkin, the chairman of the influential Senate Health committee, has promised action on sepsis after hearing testimony from Rory Staunton’s father, Ciaran, at a Senate Committee Hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.

The hearing, which was held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was the first time that the issue has ever been raised at federal level.

Ciaran, whose 12-year-old son Rory died of sepsis on April 1, 2012, gave powerful testimony on the crisis of sepsis in America. Rory’s mother Orlaith and sister Kathleen sat behind Ciaran as the hushed chamber heard how Rory died from what Sen. Harkin described as a detectable and survivable infection.  22

Harkin (D-Iowa), who chairs the HELP committee said, “This is one of the most important hearings this committee has had or will have this entire year. This is something we can do, and we need to get to the bottom of this.”

Speaking in response to Ciaran’s testimony, he said that “his son (Rory) died of an infection that was detectable and survivable.”

Ciaran said hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if the federal government introduced regulations similar to New York’s newly mandated  regulations governing sepsis detection and treatment, which are commonly referred to as “Rory’s Regulations”.

Ciaran was joined on his panel by Jonathan Perlin, MD from Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) and Joe Kiani, Founder of the Patient Safety Movement. Kiani told the committee that, “every week we are losing 4,000 people to preventable Hospital-Acquired Infections.”

Rory’s parents, Ciaran and Orlaith, founded the Rory Staunton Foundation to work towards reducing the number of sepsis-caused deaths by raising awareness through education and outreach.  They thanked Chairman Harkin and ranking member Lamar Alexander.

“By having this hearing today we are encouraged that our voice has been heard once again, this time on a federal level. Our son Rory should not have died and through these hearings we will continue to advocate for changes that will save hundreds of thousands of American lives.”

Concluding the hearings, Senator Harkin said, “We can win this-we can talk to one another, we need the kind of regulations in every state so that we can recognize sepsis.”

Read more 

Transcript of Staunton Testimony
http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Staunton.pdf

Video Clip of Hearing
http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=f456e2d1-5056-a032-5205-16c713b1418e

New York 1: Time Warner Cable
http://www.ny1.com/content/lifestyles/health/189366/family-of-queens-boy-spreads-message-about-sepsis-to-washington

New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/parents-boy-died-undiagnosed-infection-testify-capitol-hill-article-1.1466670

Irish Central
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-family-testify-before-US-Senate-over-death-of-son-from-sepsis-225168042.html

The Irish Times
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/us-senate-urged-to-alter-sepsis-care-after-death-of-irish-emigrant-s-son-1.1538432

Time
http://swampland.time.com/2013/09/25/how-hospitals-make-you-sick-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

 

Channel TG-4 – Rory’s story focus of Irish TV documentary

A documentary entitled “Dli Rory Dochas O Neamh”, which is Gaelic for “Rory’s Law, Hope from Heaven”. The documentary is about Rory Staunton, a twelve year old boy from Queens, New York, who died from misdiagnosed sepsis. The  program originally aired on TG4 in Ireland on September 29, 2013 at 9:30pm.

RoryFlyer01

U.S. Senate Health Committee Vows Action on Sepsis

82Ciaran_Staunton_Senate_Hearing

Ciaran Staunton addresses the hearing flanked by his daughter Kathleen and Rory’s uncle Fergus.

Senator Tom Harkin, the chairman of the influential Senate Health committee, has promised action on sepsis after hearing testimony from Rory Staunton’s father, Ciaran, at a Senate Committee Hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.

The hearing, which was held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was the first time that the issue has ever been raised at federal level.

Ciaran, whose 12-year-old son Rory died of sepsis on April 1, 2012, gave powerful testimony on the crisis of sepsis in America. Rory’s mother Orlaith and sister Kathleen sat behind Ciaran as the hushed chamber heard how Rory died from what Sen. Harkin described as a detectable and survivable infection.

Harkin (D-Iowa), who chairs the HELP committee said, “This is one of the most important hearings this committee has had or will have this entire year. This is something we can do, and we need to get to the bottom of this.”

Speaking in response to Ciaran’s testimony, he said that “his son (Rory) died of an infection that was detectable and survivable.”

Ciaran said hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if the federal government introduced regulations similar to New York’s newly mandated  regulations governing sepsis detection and treatment, which are commonly referred to as “Rory’s Regulations”.

Ciaran was joined on his panel by Jonathan Perlin, MD from Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) and Joe Kiani, Founder of the Patient Safety Movement. Kiani told the committee that, “every week we are losing 4,000 people to preventable Hospital-Acquired Infections.”

Rory’s parents, Ciaran and Orlaith, founded the Rory Staunton Foundation to work towards reducing the number of sepsis-caused deaths by raising awareness through education and outreach.  They thanked Chairman Harkin and ranking member Lamar Alexander.

“By having this hearing today we are encouraged that our voice has been heard once again, this time on a federal level. Our son Rory should not have died and through these hearings we will continue to advocate for changes that will save hundreds of thousands of American lives.”

Concluding the hearings, Senator Harkin said, “We can win this-we can talk to one another, we need the kind of regulations in every state so that we can recognize sepsis.”

Read more 

Transcript of Staunton Testimony
http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Staunton.pdf

Video Clip of Hearing
http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=f456e2d1-5056-a032-5205-16c713b1418e

New York 1: Time Warner Cable
http://www.ny1.com/content/lifestyles/health/189366/family-of-queens-boy-spreads-message-about-sepsis-to-washington

New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/parents-boy-died-undiagnosed-infection-testify-capitol-hill-article-1.1466670

Irish Central
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-family-testify-before-US-Senate-over-death-of-son-from-sepsis-225168042.html

The Irish Times
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/us-senate-urged-to-alter-sepsis-care-after-death-of-irish-emigrant-s-son-1.1538432

Time
http://swampland.time.com/2013/09/25/how-hospitals-make-you-sick-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

Watch the Senate Hearings live

The Staunton family will give testimony at the U.S. Senate hearing into healthcare-associated infections Tuesday. The hearing will be webcast live at: http://help.senate.gov

Testimony and archived videos will be posted at: http://help.senate.gov/hearings/

HEARING: “U.S. Efforts to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections”

DATE:  Tuesday, September 24, 2013
TIME:  10:00 a.m.
PLACE:  SD-430

Staunton Family to Testify on Sepsis at U.S. Senate Hearings

81US_Senate_SealAn urgent call for sepsis awareness and action will be the message from the Staunton family, parents of Rory Staunton the 12 year old New York boy who died from Sepsis on April 01, 2012.

The family have been invited to testify about Sepsis before a full Health Committee Hearing in the United States Senate on September 24th, 2013. This is the first time that the issue of sepsis in the United States has been raised at such a high level.

Orlaith and Ciaran Staunton said in a statement today that they welcomed the invitation to testify and thanked both the Senate Health Committee Chairperson Senator Harkin and the ranking member Senator Alexander for the invitation.

“This is an historic opportunity to speak to the full Senate House Committee about our son Rory’s death and how it has impacted our family.Sepsis kills more Americans than Aids, and is costing the US economy over $16 billion dollars a year. Moreover, there is a real opportunity to save lives through awareness and education throughout our community of parents and health care professionals as sepsis is treatable once it is detected.”

“Our son Rory should not have died and we want to ensure that no other child dies unnecessarily because of this silent killer. As part of this effort we have worked with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo  who has enacted  ‘Rory’s Regulations’ and we have set up the Rory Staunton Foundation to increase awareness of Sepsis.”

The Senate Hearing will take place on Tuesday, September 24th at 10:00am at 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

World Sepsis Day 2013

Rory With Uncle Fergus and Sister Kathleen

Rory With Uncle Fergus and Sister Kathleen

Today, September 13th is World Sepsis Day.  This is the day we advocates for Sepsis Awareness will use to spread the word about Sepsis. This morning in Ireland, where we, Rory’s mom and dad come from, Rory’s uncle Fergus O’ Dowd, who is a member of the Government in Ireland, visited his local hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where they are conducting a Sepsis Awareness Day. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is ahead of the curve when it comes to Sepsis awareness having won several awards for work in the Sepsis area. Drogheda is where I grew up.

Rory looked just like his Uncle Fergus. When Fergus was around there was always fun. Rory and Kathleen adored him.  Fergus and Rory had many political discussions, a week before Rory died Fergus was in New York and he and Rory had a huge discussion on the pros and cons of Fracking. The rest of us let them at it and continued our chat around the table. The mutual adoration and respect was obvious.

Across the street from the Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is a small graveyard.  This is where Rory was laid to rest in the arms of his adoring Nana.

In one of the largest hospitals in New York the medical professionals did not know Sepsis when they examined him in the Emergency Room, they didn’t listen. Rory’s Madison Avenue Pediatrician did not recognize the signs. He died in front of our eyes.

Sepsis awareness is crucial. There can be no more deaths just because people did not know.

 

Call For Sepsis National Action Plan in Germany Similar To Rory’s Regulations in New York

photo-10At the 1st Sepsis Summit in Berlin on September 9th Professor Konrad Reinhart, Chairman of Global Sepsis Alliance called for a National Action Plan  similar to Rory’s Regulations in New York. Professor Reinhart spoke of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Sepsis Regulations named for Rory Staunton as being an “excellent example of quality of care” and called on all governments to implement similar measures.

Earlier at the conference Ciaran Staunton, Rory’s dad, spoke of the deadly condition that is now the largest killer of children in the world and said that if Sepsis were an individual he or she would be the most wanted criminal in the world.

Berlin Sepsis Summit

76D3C6514_berlin_opt-2

At the 1st Sepsis Summit in Berlin, Rory’s dad Ciaran said that if Sepsis were a criminal he or she would be on a WANTED list by every government in the world.  In Germany alone, Sepsis kills 144 people a day, over 50,000 people a year. Sepsis strikes worldwide, it knows no border and it is an equal opportunity killer.

Sepsis is the largest killer of children in the world.

Ciaran Staunton will give keynote address at the first Berlin Sepsis Summit

76D3C6514_berlin_opt-2Rory Staunton’s father, Ciaran, will give the keynote address about Rory’s Regulations  at the first Berlin Sepsis Summit on Sept. 9, 2013 at the invitation of Prof K. Reinhart, Chairman of the Global Sepsis Alliance.

The Berlin Sepsis Summit will see the launch of a national campaign in Germany to prevent Sepsis deaths which kill some 60,000 people annually and costs the German state about 5 billion Euros every year.

Ciaran will speak about Rory’s Regulations, a new series of Sepsis protocols which were signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this year.

Rory’s Regulations were named in honor of Staunton’s 12-year-old son Rory who died tragically of Sepsis in a New York hospital on April 1, 2012.

Rory’s Regulations mandates New York State hospitals to pro-actively identify and treat sepsis before it turns fatal.  New York has become the first government in the world to mandate sepsis regulations.

Rory’s parents Ciaran and Orlaith  have campaigned  tirelessly since Rory’s death to try and prevent more families from suffering their devastating loss.

They have appeared on the Today Show, the  Dr Oz Show and Rory’s story has been featured in The New York Times, Irish Central, Irish America Magazine, and many other major publications.

Rory’s mother Orlaith has spoken directly with Vice President Joe Biden on the issue and Rory’s father, Ciaran has previously addressed other conferences in the U.S including the Diagnosis Errors in Medicine Conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital in November last year.

Sepsis, which can be treated if diagnosed in time, kills more Americans than Aids each year and costs the U.S. economy $16 billion annually.

Rory’s father Ciaran says the Rory Staunton Foundation is determined to raise worldwide awareness about Sepsis. “It is the biggest killer of children worldwide,” he says.

The Rory Staunton Foundation are proud members of the Global Sepsis Alliance and our aim is to spread Sepsis awareness and ensure that fewer lives are lost to this silent killer.

Remembering Seamus Heaney

heaneySeamus Heaney the Irish Nobel Laureate died this week, he was 74 years old.  He will be buried beside his little brother Christopher who died tragically when he was a little boy of four.

Christopher’s death inspired Seamus to write one of his most beautiful poems “Mid-Term Break” which tells the story of his return from boarding school as a young boy for his brothers’ wake.

For those of us who have tragically buried a loved one this poem speaks tenderly to the sense of loss created by a sudden death.  The feeling of being alone, the bewilderment, the emptiness and confusion that haunt those moments are beautifully captured.

Mid-Term Break  by Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay

Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying–
He had always taken funerals in his stride–
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble,”
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.