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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

CDC’s new sepsis website raises awareness of a deadly but poorly understood syndrome

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched a new website to educate the public and health care community about identifying and preventing sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response to infection with mortality rates ranging from 28% to 50% of cases.

Once referred to as "blood poisoning," sepsis can develop after infections acquired in health care facilities or the community. It is particularly threatening to patients with weakened immune systems, including the elderly, children, burn or physical trauma victims, and people with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and kidney or liver disease.

The sepsis website provides basic sepsis information with fact sheets, questions and answers, and videos, as well as links to these sections:

* Clinical guidelines and tools: contains the updated International Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: 2012, Surviving Sepsis Campaign: Bundles, educational alerts and papers from various professional organizations, and sepsis screening tools.

* Improving survival: has links to examples of collaboratives that were created to improve survival of sepsis, including the Baptist Memorial Hospital’s “Sepsis: Putting the Pieces Together.”

* Medical bibliography: links to a New England Journal of Medicine review article on severe sepsis and five medical textbook chapters on sepsis are provided.

* Data reports: CDC provides links to reports by NCHS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

* Related links: Additional links are to sepsis material on Medscape, the Rory Staunton Foundation, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus.