Awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis is critical knowledge that can save lives.


The Reality

Sepsis is a life-threatening complication of an infectious process that without rapid diagnosis and treatment can quickly progress to tissue damage, organ failure and death.

270,000 Americans die each year from sepsis. Alarmingly, mortality increases 8 percent with each hour an individual does not receive treatment for sepsis. In rural areas, this is especially problematic as the nearest hospital may be 90 miles away.

Another contributing factor to the complexity of this issue is the symptoms of sepsis may not be recognized immediately or at all. The symptoms are often attributed to other diagnoses contributing to delayed treatment, increasing the risk.

Because the majority of infections progressing to sepsis begin in the community, awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis is critical knowledge for patients and their families, along with Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Often these are the individuals first responding to individuals with sepsis.

Awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis is critical knowledge that can save lives.



The Project

In September 2017, Great Plains QIN received special funding to work in one rural geographical location in each state to increase awareness and early recognition of sepsis among EMS providers and community members. EMS professionals are critical partners as they can help prevent sepsis infection or death by knowing the risk factors, identifying the symptoms and initiating life-saving treatment. 

Evidence-based tools, resources, training and subject matter experts were utilized to reach rural communities and raise awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. We believe, through this concerted effort and partnerships, improvements were made in the early recognition and treatment of sepsis in the targeted communities to reduce progression from sepsis to severe sepsis and septic shock that may result in death. The two-year project ended in September 2019. The tools, resources and training sessions developed during the project can be found below.

Source: National Sepsis Alliance Fact Sheet;

Join the Learning and Action Network Today Button


Join the Learning and Action Network Today Button


Training Events
Apr 16 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Start WebEx Playback   Download PowerPoint Presentation Severe Sepsis ICU Screening and Pathway 2012 Severe Sepsis Non-ICU Screening 2012 Severe Sepsis Screening Tool Audience Administrators, Directors of Nursing, MDS Coordinators, QAPI Team members Overview “Sepsis[...]
Sep 10 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sepsis Handout/Presentation – Dr. Simpson Start WebEx Playback   Overview Sepsis happens, in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings. Understanding the fundamental principles of recognizing and treating sepsis is equally important across the continuum of[...]
Nov 9 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  Presentation Handout PDF On October 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted a Sepsis Town Hall meeting focusing on the importance of collaboration between clinicians in rural facilities and major[...]
Sep 19 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Presentation Handout   Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. It can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis is difficult to diagnose. It happens quickly[...]
Feb 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  Presentation Handout Every two minutes someone dies from sepsis in the United States. Eighty percent of sepsis begins outside the hospital. The elderly, as well as patients with chronic conditions, are at significant risk[...]
Apr 11 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Presentation/Slide Handout Early Recognition and Management of Sepis for Post-acute Settings (MPRO) Sepsis is one of the top diagnoses involved with readmissions throughout the Great Plains and Lake Superior Quality Innovation Networks. This webinar is[...]
Feb 6 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Presentation handout   Emergency medical services personnel care for a substantial and increasing number of patients with sepsis. Rapid diagnosis and intervention for severe sepsis and septic shock is critical for appropriate treatment. This webinar[...]
Your selected term does not exist

See All Diabetes Care News Posts 

Documents & Resources

Antibiotics, Immunizations & Sepsis: Connecting the Dots
EMS Sepsis Training Modules

External Resources

CDC Get Ahead of Sepsis
CDC Sepsis
Sepsis 911
Sepsis Alliance website
Sepsis Alliance - It's About Time
Sepsis Alliance - Sepsis Coordinator Network
Sepsis Alliance - Sepsis Fact Sheet - 2018

Some content on this page is saved in an alternative format. To view these files, download the following free software.

Learning and Action Network

We invite you to join the Great Plains Learning and Action Network (LAN). All LAN partners will be invited to attend educational sessions on a variety of topics, have opportunities to learn from peers throughout the state and region and have access to an abundance of resources and tools. The LAN is a great opportunity to get connected and demonstrate your commitment to quality improvement.