Sepsis is an extreme response to infection. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, claiming more American lives than AIDS, breast and prostate cancers, and stroke combined: between 250,000 and 500,000 annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sepsis is life-threatening, and without the right treatment, can cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Any kind of infection–in your skin, lungs, urinary tract or other place–can lead to sepsis.
Sepsis is preventable and treatable. It is vital that students and schools learn about sepsis, how it can be prevented, and its symptoms so that immediate medical treatment can be sought. To accomplish this, the Department is encouraging the inclusion of sepsis education in a comprehensive K-12 health education program.
The following resources provide schools with information necessary to educate students and the school community about sepsis prevention, signs and symptoms of sepsis infection, and how to seek appropriate medical assistance.
The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention provides sample curricula, useful lesson plans and current instructional resources stressing the importance of understanding the prevention of sepsis and understanding the signs and symptoms of sepsis.
Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton started the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention after their son Rory died from sepsis on April 1, 2012. When Rory received a cut from a fall in the gym at his school, a deadly toxin entered his body and Rory developed sepsis as a result. The Foundation's mission is to reduce the number of sepsis-caused deaths, through a variety of efforts including but not limited to, raising public awareness of sepsis through education to ensure all students, teachers and parents are aware of the importance of infection prevention and treatment and the dangers and signs of sepsis.