Australia: Australia needs a national plan to reduce sepsis deaths: researchers - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaAustralia needs a national plan to reduce sepsis deaths: researchers

02:10  05 august  2019
02:10  05 august  2019 Source:

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Today the Australian Sepsis Network and The George Institute for Global Health have launched a national action plan to reduce the number of people The report ‘Stopping Sepsis ’ sets out an action plan to drive improvements in the treatment and recovery of patients with sepsis focusing on four key

The Australian Sepsis Network (ASN) is the only dedicated national body working to reduce the burden of sepsis in Australia , through Australia needs a coordinated nationwide plan to reduce preventable deaths and disability from sepsis on 26 May 2017, the World Health Organization

Australia needs a national plan to reduce sepsis deaths: researchers© Supplied A colourised scan of E. coli bacteria taken using an electron microscope. E. coli can cause sepsis. It kills an estimated 5000 Australians each year, but only one in seven people can identify the symptoms.

A team of experts has called for a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness of the "time-critical medical emergency" of sepsis.

In an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, the team from the George Institute for Global Health at the University of NSW called for better monitoring of sepsis cases and improved support services for survivors of the condition.

“Lack of awareness results in delayed presentation to healthcare providers,” Professor Simon Finfer of the George Institute said.

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Sepsis occurs when the body reacts to an infection with an overwhelming inflammatory response. Severe sepsis can lead to the failure of one or more organs. The researchers found that over the study period, the health care team increasingly initiated the sepsis bundles.

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He said antibiotics were the most effective treatment for sepsis, but that delays in getting to hospital increased the risk of death and disability.

“Sepsis is a time-critical medical emergency,” he said.

Sepsis is a potentially-fatal blood-borne infection that triggers a response from the body’s immune system that can damage internal organs. Its symptoms include fever, chills, rapid heart rate or breathing, a rash, or confusion.

Australia needs a national plan to reduce sepsis deaths: researchers© Craig Sillitoe Sepsis triggers an immune system response that can damage organs. The researchers estimate 5000 people die from sepsis each year and 18,000 cases reach intensive care units of Australian hospitals, yet a recent survey carried out in part by the George Institute found only 40 per cent of Australians had heard of the condition, and only 14 per cent could identify the symptoms.

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Sepsis is responsible for more deaths in the UK than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. The NHS has provided GPs with automated prompts alerting them to potential sepsis cases, while all staff are being encouraged to think of sepsis in response to a high national early-warning score.

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Children and Indigenous Australians are among the most at risk, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Northern Territory having the highest death rates from the blood infection.

Bu researchers warn that the true number of deaths and cases of sepsis may be higher as information on the condition is not accurately collected and coded by hospitals, and countries with improved monitoring have observed higher infection rates compared with previous estimates.

They said the development of electronic health records could make it easier to identify sepsis cases in real time and assess the incidence across the community.

The call for a national campaign comes as separate research published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday warned that there was a “black hole” in the surveillance of superbugs in Australia because of current testing methods.

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Sepsis is a serious infection that causes your immune system to attack your body. As a result of that attack, septic Sepsis can quickly progress to septic shock and death if it’s left untreated. Doctors use a number of medications to insulin to stabilize blood sugar. corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

Researchers also found that people admitted to the hospital during their ER visit had experienced Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by a systemic infection, caused by bacteria, virus or Preparation and better discharge planning may reduce both the number of emergency room visits

Associate Professor Deborah Williamson, deputy director of the Doherty Institute's Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, said testing methods were able to detect infections, but that further tests to determine whether the sample was resistant to antibiotics were not often carried out for some bacteria.

“There is a trade-off between a rapid diagnostic test for the patient and collecting a culture for resistance surveillance,” she said.

Professor Williamson said there was currently no incentive for laboratories to conduct resistance testing and that a co-ordinated national effort was required to improve superbug surveillance.

The paper highlighted four emerging superbugs: CPE, a bacterial infection with 603 cases recorded in Australian hospitals in 2018; Candida Auris, a yeast infection; a drug-resistant salmonella first reported in a Pakistani province; and an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea of which there were two cases in Australia in 2018.

In the case of gonorrhea diagnoses, she said only 20 per cent of notifications in Australia had a bacterial culture associated with them that allowed for resistance testing. “That mean for 80 per cent we don’t know if they are resistant or not,” Professor Williamson said.

Public health efforts were also being hampered by an inability to share information across jurisdictions due to disparate privacy laws and data-sharing agreements, she said.

In the event of a superbug infection arising in Melbourne or Sydney, she said, improved surveillance in both states would ensure information could be shared in near real-time “instead of one jurisdiction dealing with it and letting the other know what happened”.

“That could be days or weeks down the track, but which time a superbug could have emerged and spread. These bacteria and viruses don’t respect state borders and they don’t respect international borders either.”

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