Health care providers now have a new resource at their disposal to help identify and treat sepsis patients in austere environments: a free, 70-minute online training module entitled Disaster Medicine: Sepsis. Please consider sharing the information across your networks.
The module provides recommendations to identify and manage sepsis under austere conditions. The training features insights from four federal physicians with extensive experience with the challenges of delivering critical care during disasters and public health emergencies.
The Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) within the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and the Sepsis Alliance collaborated with experts from ASPR and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop the training module to assist emergency management and disaster response personnel, as well as medical staff responsible for triage in disaster settings.
According to the CDC, nearly 87 percent of sepsis originate outside the hospital. Therefore, it is critical to recognize these patients early within non-traditional clinical environments. The module is intended to address a gap identified in traditional disaster medicine training available to health care providers: education on the recognition and management of patients at risk of or presenting with sepsis. By focusing on disaster scenarios, this module emphasizes the identification, screening, stabilization, and evacuation of those suspected of developing sepsis and septic patients in austere conditions, with non-traditional clinical environments, and where there is a lack of laboratory testing.
Populations affected by disasters can be exposed to a variety of health hazards, such as trauma, burns, poor sanitation, and mass sheltering, all of which place them at increased risk of infection and, in turn, sepsis. Under the austere, resource-limited conditions typical of disaster zones, the clinical identification and management of sepsis can be more challenging than normal operating conditions in conventional health care settings.
Hopefully, those who utilize the training come away with greater insight into recognizing, assessing and evacuating sepsis or at-risk patients, and an increased awareness of the impact of sepsis as a health security threat on a national scale. This new online training module covers the foundational principles underlying all sepsis care; the identification of sepsis patients in field conditions where recognizing at-risk populations and the signs and symptoms of sepsis can be especially challenging; the screening and stabilization of septic patients in the field; and the challenges of coordinating evacuation of septic patients from a disaster site.
Health care professionals can receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit or nursing continuing education contact hours upon successful completion of the training. Sepsis Alliance has made the free training available at the Sepsis Alliance Institute. Sepsis Alliance is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider Number CEP17068). In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Medical Education Resources (MER) and Sepsis Alliance. MER is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.