Student: Kelly Rogers*
Mentor: Shery Watson
Time: 4:40 - 5:00
Sepsis and septic shock is a serious healthcare problem that affects millions of people and could quickly lead to death if left untreated. In the United States approximately 215,000 people die from sepsis annually (Phelps & Rodriguez, 2004). With a mean treatment cost of $22,000 per case, sepsis currently accounts for at least $16.7 billion dollars in healthcare expenditures each year. This high incidence and costly management has resulted in a nationwide response initiated by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to reduce death rate from sepsis and septic shock to less than 25% (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2005).
Failure to recognize and intervene in early sepsis is the major contributing factor for progression to septic shock and death. Thus, identifying patients in the earlier stages of sepsis, specifically within 6 hours of onset, can make the greatest difference in survival. The Emergency Department (ED) nurse has the responsibility of early recognition of patients with sepsis upon arrival to the hospital. While interning for my senior capstone in a large ED, I managed the first phase of a hospital-wide initiative on sepsis education. The project components included an initial in-service for the ED nurses that covered the stages of sepsis, early recognition, and the triage protocol when sepsis is suspected. In addition, a pamphlet was designed with the intention to be left on the unit as a reference for each nurse. Quality Improvement data will be tracked by the ED administration with the goal that early recognition of sepsis and treatment are initiated within one hour upon arrival (AACN, 2013). Subsequent phases of this project will be tailoring the in-service for inpatient ICUs and medical-surgical floors.
* Honors Senior