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HMC and Sidra Medicine join hands to raise awareness of sepsis

HMC and Sidra Medicine join hands to raise awareness of sepsis

Tribune News Network
Doha
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Sidra Medicine have joined hands to raise awareness of sepsis to mark World Sepsis Day, held annually on September 13.
The staff of both organisations are holding a variety of activities to raise awareness of the life-threating condition and to empower both medical professionals and members of the general public, especially parents of young children, to recognise the signs of sepsis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 80 percent of sepsis deaths are preventable.
Dr Ibrahim Fawzy Hassan, director of the Medical Critical Care Division and chair of the Sepsis Steering Committee at HMC, said, “Sepsis happens when the immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body’s organs and tissues. The condition can happen as a result of an infection and while anyone can develop sepsis, those with a compromised immune system, such as small children, the elderly, patients with chronic diseases and people who are on immuno-suppressing medication, are more prone to developing sepsis.”
Dr Mohammad Janahi, senior attending and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Sidra Medicine, said sepsis can be difficult to diagnose in children as the signs can be subtle.
He said, “While anyone can develop sepsis, it’s more dangerous in children, particularly premature babies and infants as they can be more susceptible to developing sepsis as their immune system is not fully developed. What makes sepsis so dangerous is the simple fact that there is a lack of knowledge and awareness of the condition. We urge parents who have a child that is sick and not getting better to contact their doctor immediately so their child can be assessed. Individual symptoms do not always mean the child has sepsis, but it is important for parents to trust their instincts if they are concerned,” said Dr Janahi.
The signs and symptoms of sepsis can include fever or low temperature, fast heart rate, fast breathing, feeling cold (cold hands and feet), clammy and pale skin, confusion, dizziness, disorientation, shortness of breath, extreme pain or discomfort and nausea and vomiting.
Dr Ahmed Labib, senior consultant at the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Hamad General Hospital and the National Sepsis Program lead, said, “For the past five years, we have been working on developing a standardised care pathway for patients with suspected sepsis. The programme has been adopted by the Ministry of Public Health as the national programme for sepsis treatment and is being rolled out across Qatar’s public sector healthcare providers.”
“Working collaboratively with internal and external partners, such as Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Sidra Medicine, and Primary Health Care Corporation has been key to developing a successful, all-inclusive national programme,” added Dr Labib.
Dr Rasha Ashour, senior attending physician and Sepsis lead at Sidra Medicine and national pediatric sepsis lead, remarked, “Although there is no magic drug against sepsis specifically, it is essential to start giving effective antibiotic medications designed to work against harmful bacteria to help minimise the risks of contracting sepsis.”
“Parents can help reduce the risk of their child contracting an infection by getting them vaccinated as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Public Health. They are also encouraged to adopt good hygiene practices and monitor their children for any signs of illness or infection and to seek medical attention if they are unsure about the potential dangers of an infection,” added Dr Ashour.

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