On January 29, 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced that all hospitals in New York State would be required to adopt evidence-based protocols for the early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Known as Rory’s Regulations, in honor of Rory Staunton, New York was the first state in the nation to implement such measures. Hospitals are required to adopt protocols that provide for:
The protocols must be submitted to the Department of Health for approval and periodically updated, and hospitals are required to train all relevant staff in the protocols. Hospitals are also required to collect data and quality measures to make internal quality improvements, and to report data to the Department of Health for use in monitoring compliance and updating best practices. According the Department of Health, these measures are projected to save an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 lives each year.
A Statement Released by the Staunton Family, January 29, 2013
The death of any child is untimely and tragic. However, the tragedy of Rory Staunton’s death is made worse by the fact that it was entirely preventable. Rory’s pediatrician and the emergency room staff at NYU Langone hospital missed the numerous physical warnings of an aggressive sepsis infection until it was too late to save Rory’s life. Rory’s parents – and parents everywhere – rightfully expect health care providers to be able to quickly diagnose and treat sepsis infections in children.
The story of Rory’s remarkable young life and terrible death has led to a series of bipartisan legislative and regulatory mandates in New York and elsewhere, requiring health care providers to develop and implement protocols to rapidly diagnose and treat sepsis infections. Although some health care providers already provide diligent, necessary diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, Rory’s story – and the Staunton family’s experience – makes it clear that even in a high-developed health care environment like New York City, absent legislation, regulations, education and outreach mandating heightened sepsis awareness, diagnosis and rapid treatment, the terrible and tragic circumstances of Rory’s last days and painful death could be easily visited on other families and their children.
The Rory Staunton Foundations applauds and supports legislative and regulatory initiatives insisting on improved health care procedures to quickly diagnose and treat sepsis. At the same time, The Rory Staunton Foundation is undertaking its own education and outreach initiatives to inform parents, schools and communities about the risks and symptoms of sepsis, with the goal of empowering families, schools and community organizations to be their own best advocates for early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.
We welcome assistance and support of all of these initiatives, and look forward to working with you to ensure that no other family share the heartbreaking pain and loss experienced by the Staunton family.
This will be Rory’s legacy.