It's a fairly common condition, yet one few people seem to know about.

It's sepsis.

While many confuse sepsis with blood poisoning or MRSA, the definition of sepsis, according to the Sepsis Alliance is "the body's overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death." And while the Sepsis Alliance says sepsis affects over 26 million people worldwide each year, and is the largest killer of children and newborn, it is a condition the public is generally uninformed about.

Medical care providers can also fail to note the symptoms or realize how urgently treatment is needed.

The Sepsis Alliance knows that awareness could vastly change the outcome for anyone who develops sepsis. The organization has begun a campaign to get the word out not only to the public, but to caregivers as well.

The federal government is providing support for a sepsis early recognition and intervention pilot project in the Capital District and Central New York. It's a first of a kind screening tool that could be employed by home health nurses in the community.

In this podcast, Al Cardillo (Executive Vice President of the Home Care Association of New York State) Sara Butterfield (Senior Director Health Care Quality Improvement at IPRO) and Eve Bankert (Quality Improvement Specialist at IPRO) talk about symptoms, recovery and the toll that sepsis takes, as well as the program to bring information to caregivers.

Sepsis is not a situation where ignorance is bliss.


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Photo credit: Getty Images.