Pediatric Sepsis Collaborative, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Morristown Medical Center- Dr. Ma Bernardita Gamallo

Sepsis kills close to 5,000 children in the United States each year.  Through funds from R Baby, Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center, led by Dr. Ma Bernardita Gamallo,  has joined a Pediatric Sepsis Collaborative to provide critical resources, tools and education to healthcare professionals.

Sepsis kills close to 5,000 children in the United States every year. It results from infection caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Because there is no confirmatory test, diagnosing sepsis is based on evidence of infection and clinical judgment. Early detection is crucial, followed by aggressive treatment to prevent serious long-term health complications or death.

Sepsis is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms mimic those of common pediatric conditions – fever, racing heart, rapid or labored breathing, cool extremities, and lethargy. More than sixty percent of all pediatric sepsis patients are treated in hospitals – placing children’s hospitals like Goryeb on the frontline of this crisis.

With the support of R Baby, Goryeb has joined the “Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes” (IPSO) collaborative, an initiative of the Children’s Hospital Association. Comprised of sixty national health experts, the collaborative aims to reduce sepsis mortality by seventy-five percent and reduce hospital-onset severe sepsis by seventy-five percent. The IPSO addresses all stages of sepsis across the care continuum, including the emergency department, pediatric intensive care, general care, hematology/oncology units initially, and the NICU, pre-hospital, and ambulatory settings in subsequent phases.

This important collaborative is a three-year commitment providing extensive resources to participants including virtual learning and interaction activities and face-to-face workshops and tools and implementation resources to support our capacity to do the work. Once this initiative has been successfully implemented at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, this education and new protocols will be shared with the other Atlantic Health hospitals.

The goals of this evidence-based diagnostic and care processes program will

  • prevent avoidable deaths from sepsis.
  • prevent escalation to severe sepsis in vulnerable patients.
  • prevent avoidable long-term disabilities.
  • create effective sepsis response systems across the hospital.
  • master appropriate and timely diagnosis and treatment of severe sepsis curriculum.

Signs of Sepsis Include:

  • rapid breathing and fast heartbeat
  • pale or mottled skin
  • confusion or sleepiness
  • fever and chills
  • feeling the sickest you’ve ever felt
  • extreme pain

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.