It’s not every day that a governor mandates legislation to improve the timely diagnosis and treatment of Sepsis, a whole-body inflammation caused by an infection. But that is exactly what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did late last year in response to the highly publicized tragic death of Rory Staunton, a 12-year old child who succumbed to the condition. This heartbreaking case has brought increased attention to this little-known issue.
Sepsis is a serious medical emergency caused by a body’s overwhelming toxic response to an infection. When a person has an infection of any kind, even from a small cut or nick at a salon, the infection may enter the body where it can grow quickly. In most cases, the immune system battles the infection on its own. In other cases, however, the infection and the immune response trigger a systemic inflammation known as Sepsis, which—if not diagnosed and treated early and effectively—can interfere with the function of vital organs including the heart, liver, and kidneys, and lead to organ failure and even death.