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Sepsis Awareness Month: Stay healthy, stay aware & keep sepsis at bay

September 8, 2023 - Your Health Matters

Sepsis Awareness Month is here, and it's crucial for everyone to understand what sepsis is and why it's a potentially life-threatening infection. So, let's break it down in a more relatable way.

Imagine sepsis as an intruder that sneaks into your bloodstream. It's like a hidden enemy that, if left unchecked, can turn deadly. Sepsis happens when your body's immune system goes into overdrive while trying to fight off an infection, and this overreaction can lead to serious problems – that’s the bad news.

Now for some good news – Meritus Medical Center is one of the top performers in the care provided to patients with sepsis when compared to all hospitals across the country. 

“Our care at Meritus exceeds the top 10% of other hospitals and health systems when it comes to taking care of patients presenting with sepsis,” said Dr. Christopher Handera, who oversees the hospitalist program at Meritus.

Early detection is vital in identifying possible cases of sepsis. Meritus places a strong emphasis on educating both patients and healthcare professionals about the early signs of sepsis.

By empowering individuals to recognize symptoms such as fever, rapid heartbeat and altered mental state, the healthcare system enables quicker intervention. In addition to recognizing the signs of early detection, community education and prevention play key roles in raising awareness of the severity of sepsis and how everyone can play a part in keeping themselves and their family sepsis-free.

“Prevention starts at the root, and that's why we have implemented stringent infection control protocols. From hand hygiene to sterilization techniques, we take pride in maintaining a proactive stance against infections. By preventing infections at their source, the risk of sepsis is drastically reduced,” Dr. Handera said.

Another way that Meritus is protecting patients is through comprehensive care coordination, and ensuring seamless communication and collaboration among various departments.

“Through coordination with all the providers and people involved in the care of a patient, we communicate, share and monitor health conditions so that any signs of potential sepsis are promptly addressed,” Dr. Handera said.

Timely intervention and communication between medical professionals play a vital role in preventing sepsis-related complications.

“We leverage our electronic health records to facilitate efficient patient management. These records track patient health data, enabling healthcare providers to spot trends or warning signs that might indicate a heightened risk of sepsis,” Dr. Handera said.

Patients and their families can be active participants in their own sepsis prevention. It’s important to follow medical advice, adhere to prescribed medications and seek medical attention for infections.

Join us in raising awareness about sepsis and taking steps to prevent it. Share this information with your friends and family, educate yourself about the early warning signs, practice good hygiene and seek medical attention promptly if you suspect an infection. 

Stay healthy, stay aware and keep sepsis at bay!

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Christopher Handera, M.D.

Meritus Medical Center