The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm on sepsis in hospitals and issuing new guidelines to improve outcomes for patients.
At least 1.7 million adults in the United States develop sepsis, and one in three people who dies in a hospital had sepsis during their stay.
Bradley Blackburn from CBS introduces us to one teen who survived, and is helping advocate for others.
Alice Tapper was 14 years old when she was hospitalized with a case of appendicitis, but doctors misdiagnosed it as a viral infection.
“They weren’t worried. They were treating me like I was a little bit dramatic when my body was slowing, shutting down and my organs were failing,” Tapper said.
The appendicitis had led to sepsis, a life-threatening infection that spreads rapidly throughout the body.
Her parents, Jennifer and CNN news anchor Jake Tapper saw their daughter slipping away.
“We were very close to the end,” Tapper said.
Raymund Dantes is a medical advisor for the CDC, which found while 73% of U.S. hospitals have sepsis teams, only about half provide dedicated time for leaders to manage those programs.
“We want to improve outcomes and long-term recovery for patients with sepsis,” Dantes said.
So does Alice. She and her mom joined the CDC to announce Sepsis Core Elements to help hospitals ramp up care.
“CDC believes sepsis programs in every hospital regardless of size, location and resources, can strengthen the quality of care delivered to these patients and ensure their survival,” said CDC Director Mandy Cohen.
Alice’s recovery took months and multiple antibiotics.
“I had to learn how to walk again basically, because I was so weak and exhausted,” she said.
Today, she’s strong. Her family wants others to know about sepsis:
“It’s an alarm bell for the whole country. Just be aware, you don’t need to get this sick.”