Sepsis Care: A Witherell Specialty
Time and treatment are critical when caring for someone with sepsis—the body’s life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.
But once someone survives sepsis, the journey is often not over. For that reason, the Witherell’s Sepsis Care Program is an important resource for patients, physicians, and hospital discharge planners in the region.
After sepsis survivors leave the hospital, the Witherell’s short-term rehabilitation team delivers step-down care, a specialty. The Witherell employs data analysis by utilizing electronic health records, allowing for best practices and value-based outcomes. By collaborating with providers via telehealth, our care teams follow patient centered care plans to effectively manage sepsis patients.
“This helps save patients’ lives and promotes quality of life while giving patients the benefit of functional rehabilitation,” says Elizabeth Mungai, BSN, RN at the Witherell. “Our therapists and nurses work with our patients concurrently, while our discharge planner prepares patients and families for discharges sooner, avoiding prolonged stays.”
After initial emergency treatment, patients also require sub-acute care to stay on the path to recovery. As a recent article in Contagion Live notes, “…while advances have been made in sepsis treatment and survival, better post-sepsis care is needed to prevent re-hospitalization and treat the long-term effects that can occur from these dangerous infections.” A recent study in The Lancet reports that sepsis accounts for 1 in 5 deaths around the world. Sepsis is also the most common cause of death in hospitals in the United States.
Hospital readmission rates among sepsis survivors are unusually high, and many survivors suffer from impairments or long-term effects. Because of that, researchers are looking beyond the immediate health crisis and are recommending that sepsis care also focus on quality-of-life post-recovery to facilitate long-term recovery from sepsis.
According to the CDC, sepsis is often misdiagnosed, and when it occurs, it can turn into a true medical emergency. The CDC cautions that without quick treatment, sepsis can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. While sepsis can strike people of all ages, including children, those with medical issues are most at risk.
“Our nurses are well-trained to quickly identify the signs of sepsis and possible infection entry point,” says Ms. Mungai. “Our approach to treatment minimizes the complex interactions between the infecting microorganisms and our elderly patients’ weakened immune system responses.
“The Witherell’s individualized approach to care is critical to supporting recovery,” notes Ms. Mungai. “Through comprehensive care that includes medical and rehabilitative services, as well as emotional and mental support, the Witherell is able to help patients recover and thrive.”
For more information on the Sepsis Care Program at The Witherell, call (203) 618-4200.