CDC Urges Health Care Providers to Educate About Sepsis

SEPTEMBER 01, 2017
The CDC is calling on health care professional and the public to "Get Ahead of Sepsis," in an educational initiative launched this week. This initiative emphasizes the importance of early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis, as well as the importance of preventing infections that could lead to sepsis.

Get Ahead of Sepsis calls on health care professionals to suspect and identify sepsis early, start treatment quickly, and educate patients to the signs and symptoms of sepsis. In addition, this work urges patients and their families to prevent infections, be alert to the symptoms of sepsis, and seek immediate medical care if sepsis is suspected or for an infection that is not improving or is getting worse.

“Detecting sepsis early and starting immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. It starts with preventing the infections that lead to sepsis,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD said in a press release. “We created Get Ahead of Sepsis to give people the resources they need to help stop this medical emergency in its tracks.”

The signs and symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of the following:
  • confusion or disorientation,
  • shortness of breath,
  • high heart rate,
  • fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold,
  • extreme pain or discomfort, and
  • clammy or sweaty skin.
Officials with the CDC are encouraging health care professionals to encourage infection prevention through vaccination programs, chronic disease management and appropriate antibiotic use. 

In 2016, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign published its latest International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock. The updated guidelines bring slight changes in treatment to therapy from the previously published 2012 Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines, while emphasizing appropriate timing of therapy for the best patient outcomes. The updated guideline states to begin treatment and fluid resuscitation immediately. 

For more information about Get Ahead of Sepsis and to access materials, visit:, or view the video below.