While diseases like Ebola, flesh-eating bacteria, and MRSA have quickly
cemented their place in America's consciousness, a disease that kills
more than 258,000 Americans every year continues to fall short in
recognition and awareness: sepsis.
In a recent
study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Sepsis Alliance in June
2014, only 44 percent of Americans had ever even heard of sepsis. The
survey polled 2,100 U.S. adults 18+ and discovered that women (47
percent) were more likely than men (40 percent) to have heard of sepsis,
as were those 35 years or older (48 percent) versus those younger than
35 (35 percent).
A similar survey in 2013 found an identical percentage of Americans
recognizing sepsis, confirming that most American adults are not
familiar with sepsis, despite a 2013 statistical brief from a division
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that singled out
sepsis as being the most expensive health condition to treat, costing
America's healthcare system over $20 billion every year.
For the first time, the Sepsis Alliance survey asked those Americans
that had heard of sepsis where they heard about it. Twenty-five percent
of respondents recalled learning about sepsis from news and
entertainment programs, while 15 percent recalled learning from medical
professionals. Thirteen percent of respondents became familiar with
sepsis after knowing someone who had sepsis or having it themselves.
"It was surprising to learn that a quarter of the respondents who knew
about sepsis had learned about it through news and entertainment
programs," said Thomas
Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. "The new Sepsis
Alliance survey demonstrates the power of the media and the important
role it can play in helping raise awareness of this disease."
CDC Director Highlights the Need to Raise Awareness
Sometimes referred to as blood poisoning, sepsis is the body's
often-deady response to infection. The U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that
sepsis cases have increased in the U.S. from 621,000 in the year 2000 to
1,141,000 in 2008. When these cases are spotted and treated early
with fluids and antibiotics, thousands of lives can be saved, resulting
in billions being saved in healthcare costs.
"Sepsis is devastating to patients and their families. This survey tells
us that there is much more work needed to raise awareness," said Dr. Tom
Frieden, Director of the CDC. "CDC is committed to protecting patients
by increasing sepsis awareness, enhancing prevention and early
detection, and improving treatment."
September is Sepsis Awareness Month
Sepsis Alliance announced the results of this survey as the official
start of Sepsis Awareness Month. During the month of September, Sepsis
Alliance, volunteers, and health organizations across the country are
combining their efforts to raise sepsis awareness. World Sepsis Day will
take place on September 13, 2014, and Sepsis Alliance will be hosting
its annual Sepsis
Heroes event in New York City on September 18, 2014. Sepsis Alliance
has also released a calendar
of events to help individuals find and participate in events
happening across the country.
"We have a record number of partners participating in this year's Sepsis
Awareness Month," added Heymann, "but these survey results prove there
is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Increasing awareness in
the general public is essential in helping people advocate for their own
health care, stopping this deadly disease in its tracks."
was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf
of Sepsis Alliance from June 19-23, 2014 among 2,100 adults ages 18 and
older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and
therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please
contact Sepsis Alliance at 619-232-0300.
About Sepsis Alliance
Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization
in the U.S. promoting awareness of sepsis. Sepsis Alliance's mission is
to save lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. The
organization hosts national events, distributes information, and
conducts training and education of sepsis and its devastating effects.
Sepsis Alliance also provides support by giving people affected by
sepsis a forum to share information. Sepsis Alliance is registered as a
501(c)(3) charitable organization, and is a founding member of the
Global Sepsis Alliance. For more information on Sepsis Alliance, please
About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris
Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and
measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and
consumer information, television and other media measurement, online
intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in
approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and
Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
[ Back To NFVZone's Homepage ]