In her first major initiative rollout as the director of the CDC, Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, is set to release the CDC’s Hospital Sepsis Program Core Elements, the link will be live on August 24th. 

These guidelines offer a detailed roadmap for hospitals to follow to reduce deaths from sepsis in their facilities. 

END SEPSIS, the Legacy of Rory Staunton, which campaigned for ten years for the increased involvement of government health agencies in designing a national approach to the sepsis crises, applauds the release of the Core Elements and urges all hospitals to quickly adopt the recommended practices. Sepsis is the body’s extreme reaction to an untreated infection. It kills 350,000 Americans annually and leaves countless others with devastating disabilities. 

The announcement event, hosted by Cohen, will be livestreamed at 1 pm EST on Thursday, August 24th here.

With its new Hospital Sepsis Program Core Elements, the CDC is calling on all U.S. hospitals to do more to protect patients from sepsis and creating the expectation that hospitals use this resource to prevent the infections that cause sepsis. Sepsis data from the 2022 NHSN Annual Survey, which provides more details about the current status of U.S. hospital sepsis programs, will be released in MMWR to coincide with Thursday’s Core Elements announcement.

In brief, the components of the Core Elements are:

  • Leadership Commitment: Dedicating the necessary human, financial, and information technology resources.
  • Accountability: Appointing a leader responsible for program outcomes and setting concrete program goals. 
  • Multi-professional expertise: Involving key partners throughout the organization.
  • Action: Implementing structures and processes to improve the identification of, management of, and recovery from sepsis.
  • Tracking: Measuring sepsis treatment and outcomes.
  • Reporting: Providing information on sepsis treatment and outcomes to relevant partners.
  • Education: Educating healthcare professionals on the prevention of infections that lead to sepsis, presentation, treatment, and longer-term outcomes of sepsis.

The complete Hospital Sepsis program Core Elements can be found here. (The link will be live at 1 pm EST, August 24th.)

Further reading: Our Lady of the Lake Health Implements Sepsis Diagnostic Tool

END SEPSIS was founded in 2012 following the preventable death of 12-year-old Rory Staunton from undiagnosed, untreated sepsis which stemmed from a simple graze on his arm acquired during a school basketball game. 

His parents, Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton, were appalled at the lack of attention that sepsis received at the state and federal levels given the scale of mortality and morbidity associated with the condition.  They themselves had never heard the term and were unaware of its symptoms. 

“If the Hospital Sepsis Program Core Elements had been in place 11 years ago when our son died at a major New York City hospital, he might be alive today,” said Orlaith Staunton. “We are relieved this work has come to fruition and congratulate the CDC on its release. It is too late for Rory, but it is not too late for other families. We feel proud of the work our organization has done in our son’s name to bring the issue of sepsis into focus for lawmakers, policymakers, federal agencies and everyday Americans.”

Staunton continued, “We know that these guidelines are the beginning of the conversation–not the end. For the Core Elements to make a difference, they must be adopted in hospitals across the United States. We urge all hospitals in strongest possible terms to do so.