Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading sepsis organization, released When A Loved One Has Sepsis: A Caregiver’s Guide, a free downloadable resource to help friends and family support and care for loved ones with sepsis and sepsis survivors. Sepsis, the body’s life-threatening reaction to an infection, affects 1.7 million people a year in the United States.

Image/Sepsis Alliance
Image/Sepsis Alliance

Due to the seriousness of this disease, people with severe sepsis or septic shock are usually treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). When A Loved One Has Sepsis: A Caregiver’s Guide provides information and tips to help navigate the ICU from a patient’s admission to discharge. The guide covers topics such as the different roles of ICU team members and what nurses are checking when they assess their patients. The guide also encourages caregivers to take time to care for themselves.

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“After hearing from hundreds of family members who unexpectedly found themselves caring for a loved one who had sepsis or who had survived it, we realized we needed to create a guide to support and inform caregivers as they dedicated themselves to the care of their loved ones,” said Thomas Heymann, President and Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance.

“I fix things for a living. When my wife, Marla, became ill with sepsis it was out of my control and overwhelming – something I couldn’t fix,” said Don Wright, an electrician who is also the primary caregiver for his wife. “I would like to let my fellow caregivers know that it is important to allow the loved ones around you to help, so you can keep yourself strong mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Though sepsis takes a life every 2 minutes in the United States, every year, 1.4 million people survive. When A Loved One Has Sepsis: A Caregiver’s Guide also includes information to help family and friends understand what their loved one is going through after surviving sepsis and some possible long term effects.