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Volume 13 Supplement 4

Sepsis 2009

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Impact of community-based education on sepsis


Sepsis is an uncontrolled infection that can develop very quickly throughout the body. Sepsis can strike anyone at any age and people with pre-existing medical conditions may be at greater risk. Patients with sepsis often present to the emergency department from home. Community education programs focus on raising public awareness of sepsis, its signs and symptoms, and can positively impact outcomes.


A multidisciplinary public health campaign was developed to educate a local urban community about recognizing the signs and symptoms of sepsis, preventing infection, and seeking treatment early. Targeting education efforts at the community level engages consumers to become involved in the care of their health.


A multimedia approach including print, television broadcast, hospital website on the Internet, news article and advertisement in the newspaper were widely distributed to maximize the ability to reach citizens throughout the area. A live seminar presented by two physicians and a clinical nurse specialist was strategically used to enhance learning, and participants completed an evaluation upon completion of the seminar.


Ninety-six percent of the participants who attended the live seminar rated the program as excellent. The participants shared that the topic was very educational, informative, and felt that their questions were answered. Because of the education media campaign that targeted 320,000 households and the hospital-wide implementation of the sepsis bundles, the mortality for severe sepsis decreased from 40% at baseline to 32.8%, which was a 18% relative risk reduction (Figure 1).

Figure 1
figure 1

Severe sepsis mortality.


This community-based education program on sepsis demonstrated that education programs offered to the community will improve overall outcomes and promote quality care of sepsis patients. In the pursuit of evaluating the effectiveness of the program, there will be ongoing monitoring of its impact. Future education programs will continue to sustain improvements.

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Choy, K., Agcaoili, C. & Halimi, K. Impact of community-based education on sepsis. Crit Care 13 (Suppl 4), P42 (2009).

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