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“Knowledge about sepsis saves lives!”
Neuruppin, 12 September 2022
On the occasion of the 10th World Sepsis Day on 13 September 2022, the SepWiss project team at the Brandenburg Medical School (MHB) starts various activities for greater awareness and better protection.
Prof. Edmund Neugebauer, scientific head of the SepWiss project at the MHB, warns that sepsis is generally taken lightly and disregarded, although sepsis occurs more often than heart attacks and kills more people: “Over 100,000 people in Germany alone die from sepsis every year, which makes sepsis the third leading cause of death. But it is still unknown to many, and we intend to change that because knowledge saves lives.”
In collaboration with various partners, the MHB intensifies the current campaign which informs the general public about sepsis via billboards in, e.g., Berlin, Cottbus, Frankfurt/Oder and Potsdam. New project partners are regional savings banks and specifically the one in Ostprignitz-Ruppin; they help to spread information on sepsis through digital media such as video clips in online banking and also at local self-service terminals. Neugebauer is pleased to note that MHB students and the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin support the project in their respective social media channels. The regional AOK (health insurance) nursing academy also draws attention to the risk of sepsis and advertises their new brochure in pocket format designed jointly with the SepWiss project team specifically for nursing professionals and private caregivers.
Over the past weeks and months, so Neugebauer, the SepWiss team intensified their efforts to spread information about prevention and early identification of sepsis among health professionals and the general public: “More than 600 healthcare professionals have attended training courses on latest findings, and further training units for medical personnel are being planned.”
Lourdes Pascual Gonzalo, outpatient caregiver, attended further training on the topic at the MHB. She reports that prior to that training she associated sepsis with wounds only: “But now I keep the possibility of sepsis in mind with other patients and other symptoms as well.” All participants are now aware that sepsis constitutes the most severe form of an infection, most frequently caused by infections of the respiratory tract such as Covid and many other viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.
An advertising campaign targets the general population. Video clips with information on sepsis appear on the monitors of several regional trains and the Berlin railway system, other spots are shown in various hospitals in patient rooms or waiting areas. Radio Berlin Brandenburg repeatedly supported the campaign with extensive TV documentation. Flyers in magazines described early warning signals for sepsis in detail.
In collaboration with the above-mentioned nursing academy, updated tips and findings on sepsis are published on a fortnightly basis in 2022. Caregiving family members find thematic fact sheets on a sepsis-related website and in training courses because care-dependent people are at great risk of sepsis. The same applies to infants, persons above 60, people with chronic illness (such as diabetes) and immune deficiencies. But sepsis can strike anyone.
Prof. Neugebauer underlines that the MHB project helps to make comprehensive, free-of-charge and easily accessible information on sepsis available to the public as well as medical and nursing professionals. This includes a checklist in comprehensible language and eLearning formats for early identification. The compiled evidence-based material is available at www.sepsiswissen.de/infomaterial.
The SepWiss project is intended to strengthen health competences specifically in groups at risk of sepsis and aims to improve early recognition and prevention. For more details on project partners, information material and related events see www.sepsiswissen.de.