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News Releases / 2013

CMHS Offering Sepsis Course to Practicing Medical Staff

Ventura, California, 09/24/2013

Community Memorial Health System is offering its practicing medical professionals a course focusing on the diagnosis and treatment for sepsis, the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and one of just two infectious conditions in the leading 15 causes of death.

"Take the Shock Out of Sepsis" is comprised of two stages: a Web-based course participants take on their own, followed by four-hour live simulation training workshops for teams of physicians and nurses that run the week of Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in a mobile SIMVAN Sepsis Simulation Van funded through a donation by the Richard S. Hambleton Jr. Family Quality Initiative.  

Sepsis is caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection. Chemicals released into blood to fight infection trigger widespread inflammation. Inflammation may result in organ damage. In severe cases, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, infection leads to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure, called septic shock. This can quickly lead to the failure of several organs – lungs, kidneys and liver – causing death.
The desired outcome of the course, said Cynthia Fahey of CMHS's Quality Services Department, is to improve physician/nurse team response and recognition of patients presenting signs of sepsis."

"Through CMHS's participation in the 'Patient Safety First' Collaborative of the Hospital Association of Southern California and National Health Foundation, we sent a team of 11 nurses through this training a year ago," Fahey said. "They were very impressed with their learning and were anxious to share their new knowledge with as many of their peers as possible. They developed a plan to raise the awareness of sepsis and the vital need to recognize it early in order to save lives.

The incidence, mortality and cost associated with sepsis have increased over the past several decades, and Fahey said early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of sepsis is crucial to improving patient outcomes.

The target audience for the course is: internal medicine hospitalists, pulmonary intensivists, Emergency Room physicians, medical residents, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and respiratory therapists.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and 12 family-practice health centers entitled Centers for Family Health. The health system is located in Ventura County, California.