The Rory Staunton Foundation For Sepsis Prevention Unveils National Initiatives For Combating Public Health Crisis At Second National Forum On Sepsis

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rory Staunton Foundation, the leading U.S. organization dedicated to the prevention of sepsis, today announced several new initiatives at the Second National Forum on Sepsis at the Reserve Officers Club on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., in conjunction with Sepsis Awareness Month.

The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention

Featured speakers included:

  • Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers
  • Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
  • Jean Moody-Williams, Deputy Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Sepsis kills more than 250,000 Americans each year more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS, and Ebola combined. Sepsis is the body's overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. It occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammation that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail. Sepsis is preventable and treatable.

The Rory Staunton Foundation was established by Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton of Queens, N.Y. It was founded in honor of their son, Rory Staunton, who died at age 12 from sepsis in 2012. 

National Family Council on Sepsis
At the event, The Rory Staunton Foundation announced the first ever National Family Council on Sepsis. The Council is a coalition of people that have been affected by sepsis or who share the Foundation's commitment to reducing deaths from sepsis. It will function as a support network for those who have lost loved ones and those who have survived the illness, enabling them to connect with one another and share their experiences through online platforms hosted by The Rory Staunton Foundation website.

"When I lost my daughter to sepsis in January, I didn't know where to turn for support or to find answers to the many questions I had about how and why she died," said Ann Ceschin, co-chair of the National Family Council on Sepsis. "When I connected with The Rory Staunton Foundation, I was able to speak to other parents who understood what I was going through, who shared my grief and my anger and my desire to ensure that no other family would experience the same devastation we experienced. The National Family Council on Sepsis provides a vehicle for us to take action."

In addition, the Council will spearhead volunteer activities in support of sepsis awareness and improved hospital protocols in each state. With support and guidance from the Foundation and led by Sepsis State Champions, these volunteers will engage health commissioners, politicians, parents and youth to raise awareness of the Signs of Sepsis and convey the importance of implementing Rory's Regulations in every medical facility in the country.

2020 Vision Rory's Regulations in Every State
The second major initiative announced at the National Forum on Sepsis was the 2020 Vision, a push for the implementation of Rory's Regulations in all 50 states by the year 2020. "Rory's Regulations" were instituted in New York State in 2013 and championed by The Rory Staunton Foundation. Rory's Regulations mandate that every hospital in New York must adopt aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis in patients, including the use of a countdown clock to begin treatment for children within an hour of detecting it. New York is the first and only state in the U.S. to have such standards in place. State health officials believe the regulations could save 5,000 to 8,000 lives annually, and reduce the long-term costs of the condition.

The Rory Staunton Foundation, together with members of the National Family Council on Sepsis, will work with hospital systems, medical associations and unions, elected officials and concerned members of the public within in each state to help facilitate the adoption of Rory's Regulations across the nation by 2020.

At the 2014 National Forum on Sepsis, Sen. Schumer declared, "There's no two ways about itRory's Regulations will go a long way improving the rate at which we catch sepsis in its early stages. And for those of you who are familiar with the condition, early detection is one of the most important factors in treating, and ultimately curing, the illness."

"Rory's Regulations save lives," says Ciaran Staunton. "We've proven that in New York State and we won't rest until the rest of the country has the same protections."

Public Health Campaign
Additionally, the Foundation unveiled its new public health education campaign. The education and awareness campaign is designed to inform parents, schools and communities about the Signs of Sepsis (S.O.S.), with the goal of empowering families and communities to be their own best advocates for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

School Education Campaign
With the goal of educating a new generation to protect itself against sepsis and other infectious diseases, the Foundation also unveiled its plans to launch a new education module for middle and high school students that examines the science of infectious diseases with a focus on sepsis. Authored by educator Ann Smith, the module teaches students how and why sepsis occurs, and how it can be prevented, diagnosed and treated. The unit meets the Centers for Disease Control National Health Education Standards, National Standards for Civics and Government, Common Core Standards for Science and Technical Subjects, AP Biology Curriculum Framework, and NextGen Science Standards. The sepsis unit has been reviewed and supported by Dr. Martin Doerfler, senior vice president of clinical strategy and development, North Shore-LIJ Health System. The module will be piloted at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in Queens, N.Y. on Sept. 21, 2015. 

About The Rory Staunton Foundation
The Rory Staunton Foundation seeks to ensure that no other young person or adult dies of sepsis because of lack of recognition of the deadly symptoms by the medical community and responsible authorities and to serve as a major information source for the public on signs of sepsis. For more information, please visit http://rorystauntonfoundationforsepsis.org/.

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SOURCE The Rory Staunton Foundation

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