West Hills Hospital
September 06, 2017

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is recognizing World Sepsis Awareness Month this September with an emphasis on World Sepsis Day on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. The annual month-long awareness takes place worldwide to raise global awareness about this life threatening illness.

Sepsis is an overwhelming reaction to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. According to the World Sepsis Alliance, this is a life threatening condition that arises when the body’s attempt to fight off infection results in immune system dysfunction and can cause widespread inflammation, hemodynamic dysregulation and organ failure. It is the leading cause of death in hospitals, and according to Bloomberg.com, sepsis cases costs about $27 billion annually countrywide.

West Hills Hospital first implemented its sepsis program in 2013. This effort was spearheaded by Dr. James De La Torre, Emergency Department Medical Director. He has been the sepsis physician champion since the program’s inception and helped lead West Hills in its effort to improve sepsis care. West Hills became the first hospital in the San Fernando Valley certified by the Joint Commission in sepsis care in April 2016. The hospital has developed several evidence-based pathways to promote early identification and early treatment of sepsis patients to prevent progression to severe sepsis and septic shock. To date, physicians and nurses have saved many lives because of this early recognition and timely care.

The hospital is committed to educating the general public at various community events. They also provide local EMS with program statistics as well as providing monthly information updates to its staff. During World Sepsis Awareness Month, there will be sepsis information shared throughout the hospital for patients to bring further awareness.

“Too many people are affected by sepsis each year in the U.S.,” said Laura Arabsadeghabadi, sepsis program coordinator at West Hills Hospital. “Sepsis should be treated as an immediate medical emergency as more than one third of these people die in the hospital. That’s more deaths than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. In our Emergency Room, every patient is screened for sepsis upon arrival and our inpatients are screened every 12 hours looking for early signs of sepsis. It is so important to start treatment early to prevent to progression to septic shock.  We take sepsis extremely serious.”

Those at high risk of acquiring sepsis are young babies, elderly people, patients with comorbidities like diabetes and immune system deficiencies, and people who have been hospitalized, particularly with invasive procedures. However, anyone experiencing symptoms of sepsis should seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on West Hills Hospital and its services, visit the West Hills Hospital home page.

About West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, a full-service acute care facility, has served the West San Fernando Valley for more than 50 years. With 450 expert physicians and a staff of more than 900 that brings outstanding service to every bedside, the hospital offers a full complement of advanced technology, compassion and responsive care for the improvement of human life. West Hills Hospital was the first Accredited Chest Pain Center in Los Angeles County and also provides specialized care in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Outpatient Services, Cardiac Catheterization Labs and The Grossman Burn Center. For more information on quality care, close to home, visit the West Hills Hospital home page.