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Sepsis cannot be addressed by a single medical discipline, or by targeting only the biomedical community.
Preventing and mitigating its burden is not possible without addressing related social determinants, including underlying malnutrition and access to care. Action on Sepsis is well positioned to leverage the incredible pool of experts throughout UBC to address sepsis in three main that each include several research directions.
Building Health Literacy to Enhance Prevention: Sepsis can be prevented by simple means, including hand hygiene, good nutrition, and vaccines. Simple and persuasive public education messages are vital in preventing the spread of disease. Furthermore, simple treatments (e.g., antimicrobials and fluids) and standardized clinical guidelines are highly effective for managing sepsis in resource-rich and -poor environments. However, timely care-seeking and early recognition of suspected sepsis is crucial, as every hour of delay in treatment is associated with an increase in the risk of death and disability. Action on Sepsis will use the experiences of our patient partners, partnerships with health providers and governments, and our expertise in vaccination, nutrition, community engagement, quality improvement, emergency medicine and critical care, and maternal health to improve awareness of sepsis and identify and address individual and systems-level barriers to obtaining high-quality care.
Advancing Precision Medicine for Sepsis: Our members have already led studies that have greatly increased our understanding of the biology of sepsis, and are working to integrate these insights into clinical practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread national distribution of platforms for sophisticated molecular analyses, which can be leveraged for early detection and diagnosis of sepsis. This approach may lead to the development of targeted therapies that focus on modulating the patient’s immune system, rather than combatting a pathogen with drugs, which may help address the complex challenge of AMR. The integration of these activities with UBC’s established expertise in data management and engineering, risk prediction, and digital health will enable us to develop personalized diagnostics and therapies and implement data systems for disease surveillance and burden estimations.
Understanding Epidemiology & Improving Care for Post-Sepsis Syndrome (PSS): Sepsis survivors often face long-term effects that persist following recovery from the initial condition, including neurocognitive impairment, functional disability, psychological deficits, and increased risk of death. Many knowledge gaps still exist between evidence and clinical practice, leaving sepsis survivors without long-term support. Initiatives to address these gaps must involve sepsis survivors and allied health practitioners. We will use our expertise in neonatal and child development, epidemiology and risk prediction, epigenetics, community engagement, and capacity-building to gharacterize the burden and epidemiology of PSS (biological, cognitive, emotional) and assess current gaps in discharge education and care for sepsis patients and their families.