QF Entity stresses importance of vaccinations and hand hygiene in sepsis prevention
Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, successfully hosted the Qatar 8th National Sepsis Symposium on 13 September with over 1400 online registrations. The symposium, in partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), featured international and local speakers and highlighted the role of the community in preventing sepsis.
Dr. Mohammad Janahi, Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and Chair of the Sepsis program at Sidra Medicine: “Sepsis kills and disables millions every year and requires early identification and treatment for survival. One of the topics we focused on at our symposium this year, was the role of the community in early sepsis detection. Early sepsis symptoms include fever and chills; very low body temperature; passing less urine than usual; nausea and vomiting; fast heartbeat; diarrhea and blotchy or discolored skin.”
“Simple interventions and recording basic vital signs, can help with a rapid response to treating sepsis. Recent innovations in electronic medical records (EMR) have replaced time consuming manual entries of patient data – paving the way for a more efficient process to manage sepsis care across the healthcare network. For example, at Sidra Medicine and in many other hospitals in Qatar, EMR entries are now automated through integrated sepsis alerts and screening tools that help can assist with the early detection of sepsis,” continued Dr. Janahi.
Some cases of sepsis are preventable, particularly in groups of people – such as the very young, very old, immunosuppressed and pregnant women who are at the greatest risk. For example, good hand hygiene and handwashing techniques can help reduce the spread of infection thereby reducing the chances of sepsis developing.
Dr. Rasha Ashour, Senior Attending Physician at Sidra Medicine, National Pediatric Sepsis Lead and Chair of the Symposium said: “With the weather changing, it is important to consider taking the flu vaccine especially within vulnerable groups such as those with long-term health issues, pregnant women and those over the age of 65 or in care homes. This can reduce the likelihood of at-risk groups suffering from influenza and possible sepsis as a result.”
“Evidence has shown that vaccines have already made a major contribution in the prevention of sepsis, as childhood vaccinations have not only protected the children who are vaccinated but have also reduced the circulation of organisms in the community that can cause sepsis. In light of the current pandemic, the importance of vaccines cannot be stressed enough. As new vaccines become available, their uptake should be encouraged to reduce risk of infection,” continued Dr. Ashour.
Dr. Janahi continued: “Similar to strokes and heart attacks, sepsis is a medical emergency. We call upon both our partners and the community to actively create a culture of “Think Sepsis” to save lives from this preventable disease. If there is one strong call to action message we would like to make to the community - it is that infection prevention, through regular vaccinations and maintaining hand hygiene, are key steps to preventing sepsis. It is heartening that patient advocacy and continued education on the topic have made sepsis one of the national healthcare priorities. The success of this year’s symposium reflects how seriously we are collectively focusing on sepsis within Qatar’s healthcare network. We are very grateful to the Ministry of Public Health and our partners from Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation and the medical fraternity– who continue to showcase their commitment to tackling this serious disease.”