Experts offer advice for national plan to combat sepsis

A working group of Belgian experts has drawn up a list of recommendations for the future national plan to combat sepsis. The experts are presenting their advisory report at a congress in Ostend today/Friday.

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is not very well known to the general public, but the condition claims thousands of lives in Belgium every year. It involves an extreme reaction of the body after an infection, such as pneumonia or an infected wound, sometimes resulting in amputations or even death.

Patients, emergency doctors and intensivists, among others, have called for the creation of a national action plan. Federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke therefore asked a working group of experts to write an advisory report with recommendations for such a plan. The group of experts was led by infectiologist Erika Vlieghe, who has played an important role in managing the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium.

One recommendation is to raise more awareness by establishing a national sepsis foundation and by setting up campaigns. In addition, healthcare providers should receive special training on the recognition and early treatment of the disease.

Since sepsis is caused by infections, it is important to focus on preventing infections through, for example, vaccination. It’s also crucial to strengthen access to healthcare for all and specific attention should be devoted to the most vulnerable people.

Alert systems to detect sepsis early should be used more. The working group also advocates for the implementation of Rapid Response Teams, which can provide proactive, reactive and supportive care to general hospital wards. Specifically trained care teams should always be available in intensive care units to be able to carry out early interventions.

#FlandersNewsService | Infectiologist Erika Vlieghe © BELGA PHOTO BELPRESS

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