World Sepsis Day 2023


Contracting sepsis has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and many surviving patients suffer from the long-term consequences for the rest of their lives, comprising physical, mental and cognitive impairment.

To raise awareness about sepsis and to encourage engagement into measures that prevent and control it, we want to contribute by sharing some facts and knowledge around sepsis (and our schülke product portfolio) with you.

  • Sepsis is a global health challenge, affecting between 47 and 50 million people every year1.
  • At least 11 million people die every year – this is one death every 2.8 seconds1.
  • Approximately one in four of all hospital-treated sepsis cases are health care-associated and almost 50% of all sepsis cases with organ dysfunction treated in adult intensive-care units are hospital-acquired2.
  • Elderly people, neonates and children are the most affected population group1.
  • Sepsis is the final common path way to death from a majority of infectious diseases worldwide3.

What is a sepsis?

Sepsis is commonly referred to as „blood poisoning”. It is a life-threatening condition that arises when in combatting an infection, the immune system damages the person’s organs and tissue. This in turn can lead to organ failure and ultimately death.

What are some common causes of sepsis?

Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites are the most common microorganisms that cause sepsis and among them Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Neisseria meningitidis are the most common pathogens.

Sepsis may also be caused by infections with seasonal influenza viruses, dengue viruses, and highly transmissible pathogens of public health concern, such as avian and swine influenza viruses, Ebola, and yellow fever viruses.

Sepsis is often a result of worsening and preventable infections, such as those of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary tract, or of wounds and skin.

What are common symptoms of sepsis and why is sepsis so dangerous?

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain, fever
  • Passing no urine all day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discolored

These symptoms are frequently confused with other conditions in the early stages which is why sepsis is frequently under-diagnosed when still reversible!

How can sepsis be prevented?

The best way to prevent sepsis is to prevent infection in the first place, which can be done by for example:

  • Vaccination – follow recommendations for vaccination and get vaccinated!
  • Clean water
  • Hand hygiene – follow recommendations for hand hygiene and practice them4!
  • Personal protective equipment – wear a mask, disposable medical gloves and special clothing if required4!
  • Prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) – follow global and national recommendations!
  • Safe childbirth
  • Awareness

1 Rudd KE et al., Global, regional, and national sepsis incidence and mortality, 1990-2017: analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet 2020, 395(10219):200-11
2 WHO, Global report on infection prevention and control, 2022
3 Sepsis — European Sepsis Alliance
4 WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, 2009

Learn more

Privacy Policy

We use analysis methods (e. g. cookies) to measure how often our site is visited and how it is used. In addition, we use cookies to link your page visits and website use with your customer data stored in our CRM in order to be able to address you individually, i.e. based on interests and usage. We embed third-party content from other providers (e. g. videos) on our site. We have no influence on further data processing and any tracking by the third party provider.
In this context, we also use service providers in third countries outside the EU that do not have an adequate level of data protection, which harbors the following risks: Access by authorities without informing the data subject, no data subject rights, no legal remedies, loss of control.
With your settings you consent to the processes described above. You can revoke your consent with effect for the future. You can find more information in our privacy policy.