September 13 is World Sepsis Day!

Seven years ago, we created the BC Sepsis Network to support the sepsis improvement work of health care providers across the province. In honour of World Sepsis Day, we’re working alongside members of our network to plan activities to increase sepsis awareness among patients, families and caregivers.

Sepsis Awareness

September 13 is World Sepsis Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis. Sepsis kills 11 million people every year 1 yet, depending on country and education, is known only to 7- 50% of people.2

This is a moment to increase public awareness and remind health care practitioners that there is an urgent need to increase and improve education and the quality of care for sepsis patients. It’s also an important occasion to show support and solidarity with those who have lost loved ones or, as sepsis survivors, suffer from long-term consequences of the disease.

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It’s life-threatening and, without timely treatment, can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure and, possibly, death. 3 Many patients affected by COVID-19 will die from sepsis and its complications. 3 Signs of multi-organ injury typical of sepsis occur in approximately 2-5% of those with COVID-19 after approximately 8-10 days. 3 Many survivors of COVID-19 are reporting physical, mental and cognitive effects that have lasted months beyond their initial diagnosis, similar to the long-term symptoms experienced by many sepsis survivors. 3

Learn what you need to know as a patient in this infographic, visit the BC Sepsis Network and World Sepsis Day websites for more information and download the World Sepsis Day toolkit.

Sepsis and COVID-19

Evidence for the various therapies for preventing or treating COVID-19 is quickly emerging and can be difficult to keep track of. However, the BC COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee provides guidance on the most current research on the use of therapies in the management of COVID-19. If you’re interested in learning more about the achievements, challenges and potential solutions to combat the threat of sepsis worldwide, join the Sepsis, Pandemics and Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Health Threats of the 21st Century webinar on September 9.

Read Sepsis Survival Stories

Many people have had very personal encounters with sepsis, with many recent stories related to COVID-19; some stories end on a positive note, and some paint a picture of the difficult road that many sepsis survivors face. We believe that shared experiences contribute to valuable education for other patients, families and health care providers. Over Sepsis Awareness Week, visit Action on Sepsis’s website – to read firsthand from sepsis survivors and learn about their post sepsis symptoms.

Spread the Word about Sepsis

World Sepsis Day frame

There are many ways to support World Sepsis Day! Start by joining the BC Sepsis Network – a collaborative created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, a highly visible member of the global sepsis community and early adopter of the new Centre for Disease Control sepsis resources. The Network connects physicians and nurses in the province to champion sepsis improvement locally, with the aim of reducing mobility and mortality associated with sepsis.

Help us spread the word by sharing this infographic, using #WorldSepsisDay and #StopSepsis and tag @BCSepsis and @WorldSepsisDay in your tweets.

You can also add a World Sepsis Day frame to your Facebook profile. Just click on your profile picture, then click on “add frame” and search for the World Sepsis Day frame!

For more ideas on how to help us spread the word, this info kit has post ideas to share on your social media profiles!


  1. Rudd et al. Global, Regional, and National Sepsis Incidence and Mortality, 1990–2017: Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Available from:
  2. World Sepsis Day, 2020, Why is World Sepsis Day Important? Global Sepsis Alliance, 2020 [Internet]. Available from: 
  3. Sepsis and COVID-19/ Coronavirus / SARS-COV-2. Global Sepsis Alliance: Can COVID-19 Cause Sepsis? 2020 [Internet]. Available from: