Qatar’s National Sepsis Program Advocates Sepsis Awareness To Help Save Lives
In Support of World Sepsis Day the National Sepsis Program promotes sepsis education for healthcare professionals and the general public
Doha, 12 September 2021: World Sepsis Day, held annually on September 13, represents an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis, which accounts for at least one in five deaths worldwide annually. Once again this year the National Sepsis Program in Qatar marks World Sepsis Day by promoting Sepsis awareness and education for healthcare professionals and the public.
Sepsis is a serious illness caused by an infection like pneumonia or diarrheal illness. It arises when an infection alters the body's normal response, causing injury to tissue and organs. Once contracted, Septic shock can quickly lead to the failure of several organs, such as lungs, kidneys and liver, and this can be fatal in some cases. However, there is still a serious lack of knowledge among people in many countries, which makes sepsis the number one preventable cause of death worldwide.
Dr. Abdulla Al-Ansari, Chief Medical Officer at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) said that Sepsis remains a strategic focus of the Ministry of Public Health’s quality and performance improvement measures. “According to the Sepsis Alliance, Sepsis affects 1.7million people and claims approximately 270,000 lives every year in the United States. Sepsis takes more lives than opioids, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Latest research has shown that hospitalized COVID patients are 22% more likely to develop serious sepsis leading to Septic shock as compared to hospitalization due to Influenza.”
“Sepsis is a high-risk condition and therefore in Qatar it remains a strategic focus of the Ministry of Public Health quality and performance improvement measures. The ministry issues clear national guidelines on the diagnosis and management of Sepsis, which is a significant accomplishment of Qatar National Sepsis Program. The program remains an important initiative to promote public education and enhance healthcare professional’s knowledge of Sepsis detection and treatment, based on international best practice,” added Dr. Al-Ansari.
National recognition of the risks associated with sepsis has led to the continuation of the disease as a top priority in Qatar’s national health system. The National Sepsis Program, which helps govern the approach to Sepsis care, was restructured over the last year following greater awareness of the link between Sepsis and COVID-19. The updated Program utilizes stronger collaboration between expert clinicians in HMC, Primary Healthcare Corporation and Sidra Medicine to advance Sepsis care and outcomes across the healthcare sector.
Dr. Ahmed Al Mohammed, Chairman of HMC's Department of Internal Medicine and Chairman of the Critical Care Network explained that although Sepsis is a medical emergency too few people know the facts about this illness: “Knowledge of key facts is crucial in ensuring Sepsis is prevented or else managed effectively. For instance, one fact is that Sepsis can often be prevented by vaccination; and at this time it is important to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Another fact is that 80% of sepsis cases occur outside of hospitals; this makes it essential for the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis so they can seek urgent medical care if they suspect sepsis. We wholeheartedly support the annual sepsis campaign organized by the National Sepsis Program committee.”
Dr. Abdul Salam Saif, Deputy Chair of the Critical Care Network and Head of Medicine Critical Care at HMC, and the National Sepsis Program Lead said that the National Sepsis Program continues to support the global Sepsis campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of this medical emergency. “The National Sepsis Program enables us to develop, implement and monitor relevant clinical guidelines and protocols, based on international best practice, for all frontline healthcare staff to follow. We have updated our sepsis management for different patient populations, for instance the treatment approach for adults will differ slightly from that for children. Recognizing the differences across the system, the Program facilitates innovations within each facility and specialty to enable the best treatment approach to be implemented.”
“During the coronavirus pandemic evidence emerged that COVID-19 can cause Sepsis. By adhering to appropriate infection control and Sepsis Management guidelines in our health system, we have achieved demonstrable success in fighting against COVID-19 with low morbidity and mortality in those patients requiring admissions to hospitals. Such results are what the National Sepsis Program strives for and will continue to work for in the future,” added Dr. Saif.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that Sepsis can be the clinical manifestation of infections acquired both in the community setting or in health care facilities. Health care-associated infections are one of, if not the most frequent type of adverse event to occur during care delivery and affect hundreds of millions of patients worldwide every year. Since these infections are often resistant to antibiotics, they can rapidly lead to deteriorating clinical conditions.