HCA Briefs DOH in Readying New Pediatric Sepsis Tool  

Situation Report | July 6, 2021

Does your agency serve children, teens, infants? Pediatric sepsis, a condition which is mostly community acquired, has been a growing area of concern, especially amid COVID-19, drawing focus at multiple levels of public health and government.

HCA, the END Sepsis-Rory Staunton Legacy, Sepsis Alliance, and the Governor’s office are each heading up major new work in this area.

HCA’s clinical sepsis workgroup has developed a test-ready, pediatric iteration of the HCA sepsis screening and intervention tool for three distinct age groups: infants, toddlers, and children up to age 18.

This new tool, like the widely used HCA adult home care sepsis tool, is poised to be a state and nationally pioneering effort. (See our Stop Sepsis at Home NY website to learn more about HCA’s adult home care sepsis tool and to license it for use.)

Last Friday, the HCA workgroup presented the test-ready pediatric tool to medical leaders in the state Department of Health (DOH). A beta test of the tool is anticipated in the next several weeks, hosted by four HCA member sites — all health systems with pediatric home health programs.

Following the beta results and any indicated refinements, the same initial test sites will further pilot the tool to ensure readiness statewide in conjunction with the necessary provider education, training, and guidance.

HCA and DOH will determine potential ways of dovetailing this initiative with the parallel work being done in this area by the Governor’s office and Department. To date, these efforts have focused on sepsis mortality in hospitals, and reduction in sepsis mortality overall, with special studies into pediatric sepsis.

New York’s existing sepsis protocols and mandates for hospitals are derived from pediatrics — a legacy of 12-year-old Rory Staunton who died from sepsis after a cut while playing basketball.

Rory’s loss following numerous failed opportunities by the health system to recognize his symptoms. The END Sepsis-Rory Staunton Legacy site provides resources, including signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention of pediatric sepsis.

Sepsis Alliance, a national and worldwide organization, was created in 2004 following 23-year-old Erin Flatley’s loss to sepsis after a routine surgical procedure, and the failure of the medical system to prevent, timely recognize, and act on her signs of sepsis.