Improving Sepsis Survival

Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition caused by the body’s response to an overwhelming bacterial infection.  The immune system loses control and begins releasing toxins into the bloodstream. In turn, these toxins attack individual cells in the body. Sepsis can result in damage to tissue and organs, shock and, in some cases, death.

Patients with sepsis have longer hospital stays and require more hospital resources. One incident of sepsis can cost between $25,000 and $50,000 for each hospitalized patient.

In 2012, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, and the International Sepsis Forum introduced the 2012 Surviving Sepsis Campaign© Bundle – a list of procedures for hospitals to follow to reduce the number of deaths from sepsis. Studies show that following these procedures reduces the number of days in the hospital by 5, the death rate by 20% and significantly reduces the cost to patients, hospitals and insurance companies.

The Washington State Hospital Association, through the LEAPT initiative, is asking participating hospitals to use the bundle with the goal of reducing death related to sepsis 20% by December 9, 2014.


As soon as a patient is admitted, hospitals will keep a close watch for any signs of sepsis. Precautions to prevent it will be taken. If a patient is at risk for sepsis, their blood will be tested for toxins and infection within 3 hours. Antibiotics will be given   to the patient and other medications as appropriate.  Hospitals are also required to educate providers and nurses on the best ways to prevent this infection.  WSHA supports hospitals by offering tools and training for this education.

Measuring Results

Hospitals will measure the results of their efforts by comparing the number of patients who die from sepsis and a related condition, septic shock, to the total number of patients who are diagnosed with these conditions. Hospitals will submit their results to WSHA each quarter. WSHA will share the results with the hospital and the public to track their progress towards improving survival rates.


Additional Resources

Useful Links

Presentation - Safe Table Webcast: Sepsis (Part I and II) - Dec. 5, 2014

Link to the recorded Webcast

Presentation - Safe Table Webcast: Sepsis (Part III and IV) - Dec. 17, 2014

Link to recorded Webcast

*If you have any techincal issues viewing the recording, please contact Megan Small at via email at or (206) 215.2537. 


Amber Theel