Clinch Valley Health Launches New Community Outreach Initiative Targeting Sepsis

May 31, 2018

Clinch Valley Health has launched a new community outreach program, in partnership with community EMS groups, that involves the early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

Clinch Valley Health’s successful partnership with community EMS groups for the treatment of patients experiencing chest pain allowed the ER team to be better prepared for treatment and save valuable minutes when patients arrived at the ER, leading to better patient outcomes. The successful collaboration naturally prompted group leaders to further the partnership and tackle another important health issue affecting the community.

Sepsis occurs when an uncontrolled infection sets off a life-threatening chain reaction in the body that – without proper treatment – can quickly result in tissue damage, organ failure and even death. Uncontrolled sepsis has an extremely high mortality rate. Those at higher risk for the development of sepsis from infections include adults 65 and older, patients with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems and babies younger than one.

Clinch Valley Health has begun training EMS groups in the early recognition of sepsis patients. Early recognition and intervention allows first responders to give the patient the necessary fluids to prevent septic shock before they arrive at the hospital. The continued partnership with local EMS groups is a vital piece of achieving Clinch Valley Health’s goal of early diagnosis and treatment of all sepsis cases.

“We want to provide total care to the patient and that care begins with EMS first responders up to 45 minutes before they get the patients to the emergency department,” says George Farrell, M.D., chief medical officer at Clinch Valley Health. “Our goal is to work with first responders and help organize EMS’ approach to sepsis to ensure successful outcomes for patients presenting with this life-threatening condition.”

The New Garden EMS team has already successfully recognized five patients in the community that met the criteria for rapid fluid administration and provided that treatment successfully.

“We have already had excellent results with this program,” says Dr. Farrell. “We are proud of the partnership’s progress thus far to increase the survivability of patients who develop sepsis, and look forward to continued collaboration with our local EMS groups as we work together to make our communities healthier.”