Senator Schumer has addressed sepsis on the floor of the U.S. Senate
& proclaimed September 13th National Sepsis Day:
“It’s time we take this disease seriously at the federal level”
Today marks an historic moment for our movement to transform the national approach to sepsis and end preventable deaths. Just a few hours ago, on the floor of the United States Senate, our friend Senator Charles Schumer gave a rousing speech on the gravity of the sepsis crisis and the need for a national approach to combat it. It is the first time that sepsis has been mentioned on the Senate floor. This is a bipartisan initiative supported by the leadership of both parties.
Senator Schumer denounced the lack of attention that sepsis receives despite the staggering loss of life it brings, he urged federal entities to do better in terms of treatment guidelines and allocation of resources, and he strongly advocated for Rory’s Regulations to inform a national model of care. Rory’s Regulations mandate protocolized care when sepsis is suspected in all hospitals in New York State; they were instigated by our family following Rory’s death and we are proud that they bear our son’s name.
Finally, the Senator proclaimed September 13th to be National Sepsis Day, a request that we made in the belief that such a designation will focus increased attention on this under-resourced public health crisis–more people will learn about sepsis and its signs and lives will be saved as a result. It will also align the United States with World Sepsis Day, also held on September 13th. We are proud to have campaigned successfully for its passage.
We are also humbled by his invocation of our family’s grief in his remarks.
We thank Senator Schumer for his steadfast commitment to our mission and Republican Minority Leader Roy Blunt for his support for sepsis care.
Here are the Senator’s remarks in full:
I want to say a few words on a health issue that rarely gets the attention it deserves here on the Senate floor, and that is the issue of Sepsis.
Every year, roughly 1.7 million Americans are infected with sepsis, a population roughly the size of Phoenix. Of those, 270,000 are ultimately killed by this disease.
For those unfamiliar, sepsis is a terrible, life-threatening condition where the body overreacts to an infection in an extreme way. Most cases are preventable if they are caught with enough time. Sadly because of a lack of public awareness, too many cases fly under the radar until it’s too late.
So today, I’m here to introduce a resolution designating September 13th as National Sepsis Day. It would encourage greater public education about this condition, urge federal entities to streamline treatment guidelines, and marshal our resources to ultimately bring sepsis to an end.
The federal government has a great model to follow in my home state of New York, which adopted Rory’s Regulations to guide health officials when it comes to this illness. Named in honor of Rory Staunton—a twelve-year-old from Queens who died from sepsis ten years ago—these rules have undoubtedly saved countless lives and should inform federal policy.
I cannot imagine the profound suffering that Rory’s parents must feel to this day, but I hope they find strength in knowing that the rules bearing their son’s name have gone a long way to helping others.
It’s time we take this disease seriously at the federal level, and for that reason I am proud to offer my resolution today.