I founded the American Sepsis Alliance (SA) in 2003, after Erin's unnecessary death. It was renamed Sepsis Alliance (SA) and restructured in 2007. The Sepsis Alliance was a founding member of the Global Sepsis Alliance ( GSA ).
After 11 years of heading SA, I have stepped down to refocus my efforts on specific projects and to create the VW-APP for members of the general public, the non-medical people. I also wanted to maintain my highly ranked sepsis blog: www.safoundersblog.org and to produce other educational materials that would help empower people so they could take a strong hand in their own health care concerning infections and sepsis. Currently, many hospitals do not have a functioning sepsis protocol. I have been told that only 37% of hospitals have a fully developed and functioning protocol. This means , of course that two-thirds of hospitals are not where they should be with current evidenced based protocols. It is OK to ask your doctors and the hospital personnel if, they have current active sepsis protocols in place?
You must be respectfully vocal about your healthcare. We must advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Make sure you have an advocate also, if you are the one in the hospital.
Any proceeds from this VW-APP is designed to benefit that great organization (SA) and other sepsis awareness efforts, including the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) and the UK Trust. Sepsis organizations like these are leading the way globally in educating and creating sepsis awareness. It is estimated that between 20 and 30 million people die worldwide. That is equal to the entire population of Florida disappearing every year. The number of deaths annually in the US alone, is equal to two 747 jets crashing everyday killing everyone. This number does not include all the survivors that suffer for years sometimes.
There is no silver bullet for treating sepsis. Early recognition and prompt, appropriate treatment are key to survival. This starts with You, the patient, and your loved ones. The earlier you recognize the symptoms and contact your doctor or go to the Emergency Room, the greater your chance of avoiding death or disability!
The familial devastation of a losing a member of your family unnecessarily is forever and non-forgiving.
I am also taking on another important mission: duplicating what has been called Rory's Regulations. These regulations were adopted in the State of New York in 2013, thanks to The Staunton Family and Governor Cuomo. NY's Rory Staunton story is another example of yet another unnecessary sepsis death. Rory's parents are working hard to add significance to his young life, one that was tragically cut short, just like Erin's.
The State of Florida, my state, is like many of yours. There are hospitals across the state that do not have a sepsis protocol or, if they do have a protocol, it is not active across the entire facility. This is inexcusable! We know close adherence to proven guidelines saves lives. Rory's Regulations should be in ALL hospitals in Every state. "See Rorys' Regulation tab."
Sepsis is the #1 cause of death in most hospitals. Every year in the U.S., over 258,000 people lose their lives to sepsis. That loss is equal to an Airbus A380 or two 747's crashing every day of the year killing more than 600 people on board.
It is said that at least half of the victims could be saved if it was just recognized early and treated with antibiotics and fluids in a timely fashion. Consumers must be knowledgeable, informed, and take an active role in their healthcare, if they are to survive sepsis. You have the first opportunity to suspect sepsis, look for the signs and symptoms, and get immediate help. For every hour of delay as depicted in the graph below, your chance of dying goes up 8 %. This is why you need to suspect sepsis and get help immediately if you see the signs!
I actually had sepsis in 2006 and because I recognized the symptoms early, I went to the ER and asked to be tested for sepsis. They were going to send me home with antibiotics and I objected. I demanded to be admitted. You must speak up. I spent the next 1o days in the hospital, had two surgeries and took antibiotics for a month. YOU MUST BE RESPECTFULLY FORCEFUL!
Surviving sepsis does not mean you are well! Most recover fine if treated early but millions of survivors are missing limbs, have problems with damaged organs, cognitive difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and may live with what is now being called PICS (post intensive care syndrome ). The consumer must be engaged to survive and stay well. SHARE THE VW-APP WITH THOSE YOU LOVE!
There is a good book about one man's sepsis survival experience in GYROSCOPE by Gary Black. It is well written and researched thoroughly.
One hundred percent of all funds raised go to the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, #46-6727459, a 501(c)3 foundation. Her Foundation and this effort are administratively self-funded. There are no paid employees, no reimbursements, or travel expenses. One hundred percent of donations go to sepsis good works.
The talks I give are at my expense and I ask only that a donation be made to Erin's Foundation, so we can carry on her work. Erin's Foundation was a major sponsor of Sepsis Alliance and has made numerous other philanthropic sepsis initiatives in the past decade. I established her Foundation, Sepsis Alliance, the Vitals Watch App ( VW-APP ), and other initiatives to add significance to her young life. She never should have died!
I am not only driven by Erin, but also by all the other preventable deaths and the problems that many survivors live with. I am motivated by all that I have learned about sepsis over the past decade. It is my hope that you, as part of TEAM BUGS, will give this app to all those you love and care about. Please help me get the word out, "So More Survive."
Erin Kay Flatley