We’re In Sacramento To Make California #SepsisSafe ASAP!

Make California Sepsis Safe, #sepsissafe, Rory Staunton, Governor Jerry Brown, Sacramento, Rory Staunton Foundation, sepsis

Sacramento, California, February 28th  The Rory Staunton Foundation and the National Family Council on Sepsis will spend two days in the Californian state capital of Sacramento where we will meet with legislators and policymakers to urge the passage of commonsense sepsis protocols in all California hospitals. Families from across the state who will bravely share their stories of how sepsis has impacted their lives and ask their representatives to take action and adopt these lifesaving protocols. At least 40,000 California lives are lost to sepsis each year–there is no time to delay. We’ll be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter throughout the trip–stay tuned!

As We Bid Farewell to 2017, Let’s Highlight Some of our Most Important Achievements!

Rory Staunton Foundation, Winter 2017, Ciaran Staunton, Sepsis, People Magazine, Fly to Fight Sepsis, WHO, Sepsis Education

Friends: Before we bid the year farewell, we wanted to highlight some of our most important achievements in 2017, made possible with your generous support. We look forward to a busy and productive 2018! We wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year.

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

Rory Staunton Foundation, Press Release, New York State, Governor Cuomo, Sepsis Education, Rory Staunton’s Law, Sepsis,

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 (https://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.




Governor Cuomo Signs Rory Staunton’s Law

Thank You, Governor Cuomo, Rory Staunton Law, Rory Staunton Foundation,
Thank you, Governor Cuomo and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan. A new Bill has passed the legislature in New York State and been signed by the Governor to ensure that all New York State children learn about sepsis in their schools.
BILL NO. A06053A also known as “Rory’s Staunton’s Law,” “Directs the commissioner of education to collaborate with the department of health and other health organizations to establish regulations for a sepsis awareness and prevention program for school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and nonpublic school.”

PA to Adopt Rory’s Regulations – Mandatory Sepsis Protocols to Be Enacted Statewide

Rory Staunton Foundation, Rory Staunton, Sepsis, Sepsis Awareness, Sepsis Education, Sepsis Prevention, Pennsylvania, John Harvey, Chris Aiello, Harrisburg, National Family Council

Since meeting with the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention and representatives from the National Family Council on Sepsis last year, Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary, Karen Murphy, has become a vocal and committed proponent of mandatory sepsis protocols in her state. Yesterday, at the Stopping Sepsis: Saving Lives in Pennsylvania Conference organized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and held in Harrisburg, Secretary Murphy declared that, “Pennsylvania needs to implement new protocols focused on stopping sepsis in every hospital. Sepsis is a critical health issue that can affect anyone.”

The conference was the first-ever sepsis summit held in the state and was organized to introduce and discuss the proposed sepsis regulations. The conference was also the largest single gathering of chief medical, nursing, and quality officers ever convened in Pennsylvania. More than 200 representatives were in attendance from hospitals across the Commonwealth. Experts discussed new statewide sepsis policies aimed at the drastic reduction of sepsis deaths. Sepsis kills more than 9,000 Pennsylvanians each year.

Chris Aiello, a founding member of the National Family Council on Sepsis and the father of Emily Aiello who died from sepsis at the age of 15, helped open the event by sharing his own experience and his belief that sepsis protocols are critical to en ding preventable deaths from sepsis.

The Rory Staunton Foundation looks forward to Pennsylvania becoming the next “sepsis safe” state, following in the footsteps of New York and Illinois, where sepsis protocols are already in place and saving lives. The Foundation’s goal is to see mandatory sepsis protocols in every state by 2020.

Read the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Press release here

Illinois Governor Signs Mandatory Sepsis Protocols into Law

Illinois, sepsis, Gabrielle Gablo, Liz and Tony Gablo,

Press Statement from the Rory Staunton Foundation and the Galbo Family


Sepsis Protocols Become Law in Illinois; Galbo Family and Rory Staunton Foundation Call on Other States to Follow;
Illinois becomes second state in the nation after New York to adopt mandatory sepsis protocols; Sepsis kills more than 258,000 Americans each year.

August 18, 2016

URBANA, ILLINOISTony and Elizabeth Galbo and the Rory Staunton Foundation today announced the signing of Gabby’s Law by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Sepsis is a medical condition which is the number one killer in hospitals and the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States. Over 258,000 victims die from sepsis every year – many of them unnecessarily. Since Gabby Galbo’s and Rory Staunton’s unnecessary and certainly untimely deaths, over 1 million Americans have lost their lives to sepsis. And the costs in treating unbridled sepsis reaches over $23 billion per year.

Experts agree that the key to fighting sepsis is ensuring quick diagnosis and treatment within the “golden hour” when it can be most effective. Pilot initiatives in some hospital systems have shown great strides in decreasing sepsis mortality through effective implementation of what is basically a “checklist”: a standardized protocol to facilitate quick and accurate diagnosis and fast and effective treatment as soon as any sign of sepsis arises. But no state, with the exception of New York, has required these simple protocols be implemented at all hospitals. Illinois represents a groundbreaking second.

Tony and Elizabeth Galbo, parents of five year old Gabriella Galbo who needlessly lost her life due to sepsis/septic shock in May of 2012, proudly met with Governor Rauner today in order to officially sign Gabby’s Law into effect. Bill 2403 known as Gabby’s Law will require Illinois hospitals to adopt, implement, and periodically update protocols for the early recognition and treatment of both adult and pediatric patients with sepsis or septic shock.

Gabby’s Law, based on Rory’s Regulations signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013, was drafted to address situations that occur every single day in leading medical institutions across the U.S., which led to the May 2012 unrecognized, untreated, and repeatedly ignored symptoms of sepsis which ultimately led to the death of Gabby Galbo from care which started at a local, well known level 1 trauma hospital.

“This new sepsis bill is vital to protect the citizens of Illinois, both adult and child from unrecognized and untreated sepsis,” the Galbo’s continued. “We hope Illinois, after following in the footsteps of Rory’s Regulations in New York, will trigger other states to immediately follow. If these protocols had been in place at the first hospital in which Gabby received care, we have no doubt that she would have lived. After Gabby’s death we knew something had to be done. Sepsis is very easily screened for, and is very treatable. Just weeks before Gabby’s death 12 year old Rory Staunton of NY died due to unrecognized and untreated sepsis in a major NYC medical institution.”

“I knew if the Staunton family successfully petition New York State to implement these sepsis protocols, then Illinois could and should implement them as well, as should every state,” said Tony Galbo. “I took a printout of Rory’s Regulations as they are named in New York, with me to Representative Bill Mitchell’s office and then to Senator Chapin Rose in order to express the urgent need for a sepsis protocol like this in Illinois so that no family should ever suffer the same consequences. This bill has, will, and is going to continue to save lives in the state of Illinois.”

“Since Gabby’s death four years ago in 2012, over one million Americans (258,000 people a year) have died of sepsis in the United States. Every state could and should adopt a sepsis protocol.
One of the biggest reasons every state does not have a sepsis protocol is because no one has asked! Ask! Take action, contact your governor, contact your state health secretary. Fill out a form which can be found on the www.RoryStauntonFoundation.org website under the Take Action tab, in which you can also find contact numbers for every state. Every day that goes by that legislation is not in place in your state, more needless deaths are occurring from sepsis. You don’t need to start from scratch to implement a sepsis protocol for your state. NY provided a model for IL, and IL and or NY can be the model for the next state,” said Elizabeth Galbo.

Orlaith and Ciaran Staunton, the parents of Rory Staunton and founders of The Rory Staunton Foundation, added, “The Third National Forum on Sepsis will take place in New York City on September 12, 2016. We called the nation to action in implementing sepsis protocols in every state and are very proud that the national initiative that started with New York State is now gaining significant momentum. The Galbo family and Governor Bruce Rauner are fulfilling our mission. Let’s not stop in Illinois! Rory Staunton and Gabby Galbo died unnecessarily. Rory and Gabby deserved to come home from the hospital as does every sepsis patient seeking treatment in any medical institution.”


Orlaith Staunton
Rory Staunton Foundation
917­ 523 ­8467


Liz and Tony Galbo
217 ­778 ­0502


See the original Press Release here


Read our original piece about Illinois Senate Passing Manatory Statewide Sepsis Regulations below:

Illinois Senate Passes Bill Mandating Statewide Sepsis Regulations

Exciting news out of Illinois last week! The State Senate has passed Bill 2403 mandating that all Illinois hospitals must adopt and implement sepsis protocols. The House will now vote to confirm the protocols.

The bill is based on Rory’s Regulations in New York and is the result of the tireless work of the Galbo family. Five year-old Gabrielle Galbo died from Sepsis on May 11, 2012. The protocols in Illinois will be known as Gabby’s Law, in her honor.

We congratulate the Galbos on their incredible work and welcome them to the National Family Council on Sepsis.

In an emotional conversation with them last night the Galbos committed to working with the Foundation in our efforts to have sepsis protocols in every state in America. Little Gabby should not have died and her parents have been unrelenting in their fight for justice in her name.


Our family mourns the loss of Muhammad Ali, who died of sepsis.

Our family mourns the loss of Muhammad Ali who, like our son Rory, died from septic shock. Over 250,000 Americans die each year from sepsis; in New York State, sepsis regulations, called Rory’s Regulations, were enacted by Governor Cuomo in 2012 following Rory’s tragic death. The Staunton family extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Muhammad Ali.


The Conversation

Academic rigor, journalistic flair

Sepsis: the largely unknown condition that puts one million people in the hospital each year

Most Americans have never heard of it, but according to new federal data, sepsis is the most expensive cause of hospitalization in the US.

Sepsis is a complication of infection that leads to organ failure. One million patients are hospitalized for sepsis each year (across all types of health insurance). This is more than the number of hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke combined. Sepsis can be a particular risk for older people. In 2013 alone, 400,000 Medicare beneficiaries were hospitalized because of sepsis at a cost of US$5.5 billion.

And it is deadly. Between one in eight and one in four patients with sepsis will die during hospitalization. In fact sepsis contributes to one-third to one-half of all in-hospital deaths.

Despite these grave consequences, fewer than half of Americans know what the word sepsis means.

What is sepsis and why is it so dangerous?

Sepsis a severe health problem sparked by your body’s reaction to infection. When you get an infection, your body fights back, releasing chemicals into the bloodstream to kill the harmful bacteria or viruses. When this process works the way it is supposed to, your body takes care of the infection and you get better. With sepsis, the chemicals from your body’s own defenses trigger inflammatory responses, which can impair blood flow to organs, like the brain, heart or kidneys. This in turn can lead to organ failure and tissue damage.

Sepsis can result from any type of infection. Most commonly, it starts as a pneumonia, urinary tract or intra-abdominal infection such as appendicitis. It is sometimes referred to as “blood poisoning,” but this is not an accurate term. Blood poisoning is an infection present in the blood, while sepsis refers to the body’s response to any infection, wherever it is.

Once a person is diagnosed with sepsis, she will be treated with antibiotics, IV fluids and support for failing organs, such as dialysis or mechanical ventilation. This usually means a person needs to be hospitalized, often in an ICU. Sometimes the source of the infection must be removed, as with appendicitis or an infected medical device.

Part of the problem we face with sepsis is agreeing on just what it is, from a medical standpoint. Experts last defined sepsis in 2001.

However, recent studies suggest the current definition does a poor job distinguishing sepsis from other diseases that can make one very sick. Many conditions can mimic sepsis, including severe allergic reactions, bleeding, heart attacks, blood clots and medication overdoses. Sepsis requires particular prompt treatments, so getting the diagnosis right matters.

The revolving door of sepsis care

As recently as a decade ago, doctors believed that sepsis patients were out of the woods if they could just survive to hospital discharge. But that isn’t the case – 40% of sepsis patients go back into the hospital within just three months of heading home, creating a “revolving door” that gets costlier and riskier each time, as patients get weaker and weaker with each hospital stay.

If sepsis wasnt’t bad enough, it can lead to another health problem: Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS), a chronic health condition that arises from critical illness. Common symptoms include weakness, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression.

Post-Intensive Care Syndrome and frequent hospital re-admissions mean that we have dramatically underestimated how much sepsis care costs. On top of the $5.5 billion we now spend on initial hospitalization for sepsis, we must add untold billions in re-hospitalizations, nursing home and professional in-home care, and unpaid care provided by devoted spouses and families at home.

Unfortunately, progress in improving sepsis care has lagged behind improvements in cancer and heart care, as attention has shifted to the treatment of chronic diseases.

Rethinking treatment and care

Raising public awareness increases the likelihood that patients will get to the hospital quickly when they are developing sepsis. This in turn allows prompt treatment, which lowers the risk of long-term problems.

Beyond increasing public awareness, doctors and policymakers are also working to improve the care of sepsis once patients get to the hospital.

Several physician groups are collaborating to develop a new prediction tool called qSOFA. This instrument identifies patients with infection who are at high risk of death or prolonged intensive care. In contrast to existing methods for identifying sepsis, the new tool is data-driven. It was developed through examining millions of electronic patient records.

Researchers are also refining a mainstay of sepsis treatment – antibiotic therapy. These medications must be given within hours of diagnosis, but how long they are needed is unclear.

Newer studies indicate that shorter treatment courses may be as effective as longer courses, while potentially limiting disruption to healthy bacteria living on and within us.

Preliminary research by us and our colleagues suggests that the risk for sepsis is temporarily increased when healthy bacteria are disturbed. This raises the intriguing possibility that diet or supplements aimed at restoring healthy bacteria may reduce the risk of future sepsis.

Care after sepsis matters. Blood pressure image via www.shutterstock.com.

Life after sepsis

Even with great inpatient care, some survivors will still have problems after sepsis, such as memory loss and weakness.

Doctors are wrestling with how to best care for the growing number of sepsis survivors in the short and long term. This is no easy task, but there are several exciting developments in this area.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine’s THRIVE initiative is now building a network of support groups for patients and families after critical illness. THRIVE will forge new ways for survivors to work with each other, like how cancer patients provide each other advice and support.

As medical care is increasingly complex, many doctors contribute to a patient’s care for just a week or two. Electronic health records let doctors see how the sepsis hospitalization fits into the broader picture – which in turn helps doctors counsel patients and family members on what to expect going forward.

The high number of repeat hospitalizations after sepsis suggests another opportunity for improving care. We could analyze data about patients with sepsis to target the right interventions to each individual patient.

Better care through better policy

In 2012, New York State passed regulations to require every hospital to have a formal plan for identifying sepsis and providing prompt treatment. It is too early to tell if this is a strong enough intervention to make things better. However, it serves as a clarion call for hospitals to end the neglect of sepsis.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are also working to improve sepsis care. Starting in 2017, CMS will adjust hospital paymentsby quality of sepsis treatment. Hospitals with good report cards will be paid more, while hospitals with poor marks will be paid less.

To judge the quality of sepsis care, CMS will require hospitals to publicly report compliance with National Quality Forum’s “Sepsis Management Bundle.” This includes a handful of proven practices such as heavy-duty antibiotics and intravenous fluids.

While policy fixes are notorious for producing unintended consequences, the reporting mandate is certainly a step in the right direction.

Right now, sepsis care varies greatly from hospital to hospital, and patient to patient. But as data, dollars and awareness converge, we may be at a tipping point that will help patients get the best care, while making the best use of our health care dollars.


Thank You to The Cleveland Cavaliers and to Kyrie Irving

Rory Staunton Foundation, Rory Staunton, Sepsis, Sepsis Awareness, Sepsis Education, Sepsis Prevention, NFL, Kyrie Irving
Sepsis sucks in more ways than one. For Kathleen, Rory’s sister, and all families that suffer because of sepsis deaths, their lives are changed forever.
Kyrie Irving’s mom died when he was four, Elizabeth Irving died from sepsis. Kyrie has always spoken about the love he carries for his mom and the strength of his family since her death. In interviews he becomes emotional speaking about her loss and she is ever present in his life.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie, in response to a letter we wrote, invited us to be their VIP guests at a game in Cleveland. This weekend we flew to meet Kyrie, and other Cavalier players Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert.
It was a spectacular night with the Cleveland Cavaliers being very kind and generous hosts. Thank you to all the Cavaliers and in particular to Kyrie Irving for making this happen.
We hope that we can work together to spread more awareness of sepsis and will be publishing information about our imminent Ohio initiatives. We also want to let people know the terrible price that families pay for these “preventable” deaths. Preventable deaths are real people.

First National Sepsis Summit in Ireland

Summit, Rory Staunton Foundation, Sepsis Education, Awareness and Prevention, Rory Staunton

Ciaran Staunton of the Rory Staunton Foundation will introduce the Foundation’s Video entitled Sepsis: A Hidden Crisis Exposed  at the First National Sepsis Summit taking place on Thursday, July 2nd at Dublin Castle in Ireland.

Ciaran will introduce the Rory Staunton Video and speak to the need to identify and treat one of the most deadly infections in the world that is largely unknown in the U.S. and in Ireland. In America Sepsis claims up to 258,000 American lives a year.

Ireland’s Minister for Health Mr. Leo Varadkar will also address the Summit as will  Mr. Tony O’ Brien, Directory General of the Heath Service, HSE.

Sepsis: A Hidden Crisis Exposed

The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis awareness announces the release of a critical video
Sepsis: A Hidden Crisis Exposed

NEW YORK, N.Y.-February 25, 2015 – The Rory Staunton Foundation (www.rorystauntonfoundationforsepsis.org) today announced the launch of a critical sepsis awareness video entitled Sepsis: A Hidden Crisis Exposed. The video is available to watch and download at their website here.

Sepsis: A Hidden Crisis Exposed

A vitally important video about one of the most deadly infections in the world which is almost unknown in the United States. Sepsis kills over 258,000 Americans every year. Two families tell their tragic stories about their fight to have government agencies take responsibility and inform the American people about a disease that is largely curable, if detected on time.

The Staunton family, parents of Rory Staunton who died aged 12 years in April, 2012 and Carl Flatley, father of Erin Flatley, who died aged 23 in 2002 speak to the preventable deaths of their children and together with senior health officials make a passionate call to action for government agencies to address this deadly situation, immediately.

“Like countless other parents, we had never heard of Sepsis before Rory died. We established the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis awareness to educate others about Sepsis, so that what happened to us would not happen to them,” said Rory’s Mom, Orlaith Staunton.

About The Rory Staunton Foundation

The Rory Staunton Foundation seeks to ensure that no other young person or adult dies of sepsis because of lack of recognition of the deadly symptoms by the medical community and responsible authorities and to serve as a major information source for the medical condition’s symptoms and outreach efforts. For more information, please visit www.rorystaunton.com.


The Rory Staunton Foundation
Deirdre Hickey, 212.244.6294