World Sepsis Day (WSD)

World Sepsis Day (WSD) - Join the Fight to Fight to End Sepsis

World Sepsis Day is observed on September 13 annually worldwide. This global awareness day is organized by the Global Sepsis Alliance. Yearly the event draws in people around the world to raise public awareness about the disease. This event holds in collaboration with individuals and organizations seeking to lend their voices to awareness about Sepsis, a deadly disease that kills many around the world, yet, with so little awareness around it.

Sepsis has been described as a silent, yet deadly killer disease. There are a staggering 47 to 50 million cases of sepsis globally, with 11 million deaths per year; one death occurring every 2.8 seconds due to sepsis. This makes sepsis directly responsible for about 20% of all global deaths annually. In Nigeria, there are more than 100 thousand cases of sepsis per year.



Sepsis, also called septicemia, is a life-threatening illness that results when the body has an unusually severe response to an infection. It develops when the chemicals released by the immune system into the bloodstream to fight an infection, instead cause inflammation throughout the entire body.



Bacterial infections are the most common causes of sepsis. It can also be a result of other infections such as pneumonia, abdominal infection, kidney infection, bloodstream infection, and most recently, the Covid-19 infection.



Symptoms of sepsis include severe fever, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fast heart rate, mental confusion, low urine output, and organ dysfunction, etc. In children, symptoms of sepsis may include being drowsy and having difficulty in waking up, lots of pain or restlessness, persistent rashes, very blotchy blue or pale skin, convulsion, etc. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure, a medical emergency known as septic shock, or even death.



Individuals at risk of sepsis include people with fragile immune systems (elderly people, infants, and pregnant women); people with preexisting infections or medical conditions such as diabetes, lung diseases, kidney diseases, and cancer; people with a weakened immune system due to illness or unhealthy lifestyle; people with severe injuries such as large burns or wounds; patients with catheters or a breathing tube.



For prevention, early detection is key. Since sepsis is introduced into the body by infections, the most common and reliable preventive measures will be to prevent infection in the first place by vaccination with recommended vaccines against known causes of the disease, and practicing good hygiene such as regular hand washing. It is also important to get routine medical care for chronic infections.


Seeking immediate medical attention if a sepsis infection is suspected, especially in the course of treating another illness can help prevent its onset in a patient. This is where early diagnosis and prompt treatment is crucial in the survival of patients, as early detection has shown to reduce sepsis mortality by 50%. 


When sepsis is detected early enough, treatment is possible and death is prevented. The treatment process involves identifying the source and type of infection by carrying out blood and urine tests, X-rays, or CT scans; giving antibiotics to patients (though ineffective against infections caused by viruses); administering intravenous fluids to prevent blood pressure from dropping too low; using Vasopressor medications to tighten blood vessels; and giving supportive care (dialysis for kidney failure, mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure, etc ) in the case of organ failure.


To lend your voice to sepsis and its awareness, you can organize a sepsis day event, or take part in sepsis day programs already set up in your locality. Some activities of the day may include handing out sepsis awareness fliers or leaflets while wearing branded sepsis shirts, face caps, or bibs. Use well-applied routes such as town squares and busy roads in your walk to attract more attention. Look out for sepsis survivors and get them to be engaged by sharing their experiences during your walk. You can also show support online by tweeting and posting about World Sepsis Day using the hashtag #wsd21, #stopsepsis, #savelives If you are in the medical field, you can partake in World Sepsis Day. Here are a few ways you can:
  • Open staff sepsis awareness stalls in hospitals, with sepsis quizzes and exhibitions to spice things up.
  • Give awareness training on sepsis for hospital staff.
  • Offer free vaccination for sepsis to the local community. This can be done in collaboration with other individuals, organizations, or the local government. 
  • Organize conferences, webinars, an Instagram or Facebook Live, etc., for sepsis.
  • Join health providers at DiagnoStar Health to create awareness about Sepsis by sharing our post which creates awareness about Sepsis with your loved ones and on your social media pages

Events you schedule for World Sepsis Day must adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines in your locality. So, depending on what you are allowed to do in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, you can adapt your WSD events to be either in person, online, on social media, or more. Remember that sepsis is the most common pathway to death from most infectious diseases worldwide, including SARS-CoV-2, malaria, Ebola, and more. You must do your best to ensure you do not cause more harm as you go about your activities for the day. 


We wish you well as you plan towards your World Sepsis Day event, and deeply appreciate your valuable contribution to the sepsis fight!
If you would like to talk to a medical expert about any health challenges you might have, click here , sign up and book an appointment with a local or foreign provider of your choice.

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