We turn lives around

Sepsis Awareness Day at Minute Maid Park

WHAT: To promote sepsis awareness, Texas Medical Center hosts Sepsis Awareness Day at Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels). The first 5,000 ticketholders will receive free hand sanitizer spray pumps. A 14-year-old sepsis survivor, Elizabeth Taibel, will throw out the first pitch along with Texas Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. Robbins, M.D.

WHEN:     Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, Game time: 1:10pm

WHERE:   Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St, Houston

TICKETS: Get your tickets today by visiting www.astros.com/tmc. The password is TMC. For orders of 20 or more, call Jake Winowich at 713.259.8317.

BACKGROUND:

Sepsis occurs in more than 750,000 patients in the United States annually and is responsible for more than 210,000 deaths; more than twice the population of Pearland, Tx. Sepsis is when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Common causes of sepsis include pneumonia, bladder infection, and skin infections caused by infected insect and dog bite or scratches.

The number of sepsis cases per year has been on the rise in the United States. This may be due to an aging population, the increased longevity of people with chronic diseases, the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms, an upsurge in invasive procedures, and broader use of immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agents.

The number of sepsis cases per year has been on the rise in the United States. This may be due to an aging population, the increased longevity of people with chronic diseases, the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms, an upsurge in invasive procedures, and broader use of immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agents.

"Distinguishing sepsis from the original infection is not easy even for a seasoned clinician because the symptoms can be very similar," said Robbins, an internationally recognized cardiac surgeon. "Frequently, family or friends are the ones who see something is just not right."

Texas Medical Center is leading an effort to increase clinical and community awareness of sepsis and its symptoms. Some of the signs to watch for include feeling disproportionately ill (for instance, a skin infection that leads to loss of appetite or extreme dizziness) and getting worse rather than better while being treated for an infection.

"People wait too long. They don't realize how fast things can happen,” said Faisal Masud M.D., F.C.C.P., F.C.C.M., Critical Care medical director and Associate Quality officer at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Sepsis tends to strike people over 65 or those with weakened immune systems. But, what is critical to remember is that everyone is susceptible.”

Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency. Look for:

    Fever and shaking chills
    Reduced mental alertness, sometimes with confusion
    Nausea and vomiting
    Diarrhea
    Low blood pressure
    Altered kidney or liver function

Texas Medical Center will also host, “Silent Killer: Cruel Lessons, Critical Practices,” in the 3rd Floor Auditorium at the UTHealth Medical School, 6431 Fannin St. on Friday, Sept. 13. Information booths and exhibits will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 11:30 a.m., the event will feature a panel discussion with medical experts in the field of sepsis, and patient and family stories. Health care workers and the general public are invited to attend this free event to learn more. Free lunch will be provided for participants and attendees.

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