Case Reviews: Sepsis in Adults with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities

Case Reviews: Sepsis in Adults with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities

4.67 (3 votes)

Recorded On: 08/31/2022


Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at elevated risk of infection and sepsis. Sepsis is the third most common cause of hospitalization for adults with an IDD and sepsis is more than twice as prevalent in this group as compared to hospitalized patients with no intellectual and developmental disabilities. Despite these risks, adults with an IDD receive little attention in medical literature, and medical schools and nursing programs do not always teach trainees how to work with this patient population. Both patients with an IDD and hospital staff report negative emotions related to their interactions. In this webinar, learners will analyze three case studies, each highlighting infection and sepsis risk factors for adults with an IDD, including common impairments to the immune system, challenges with recurrent dysphagia, and urinary retention. The presenter will also review strategies for clear and effective communication with this patient population.

Learning Objectives: 

At the end of the activity, the learner should be able to:

  • Restate infection and sepsis risk factors for adults with an IDD;
  • Identify key assessment considerations for patients with an IDD;
  • Outline strategies for ensuring clear communication with patients with an IDD and caregivers. 

Target Audience: 

Nurses, advanced practice providers, physicians, emergency responders, pharmacists, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, physical/occupational therapists, infection prevention specialists, data/quality specialists, and more.

Webinar Supporter: 

Sepsis Alliance gratefully acknowledges the support provided for this webinar by the WITH Foundation.


Carl V. Tyler, MD, MSc

Director of Developmental Disabilities – Practice Based Research Network

Cleveland Clinic

Carl V. Tyler, Jr., MD, MSc, is a family medicine physician, fellowship-trained researcher, and professor of family and community medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship with a Master's degree in academic family medicine and then a NIH-sponsored three-year fellowship in practice-based research design and methodology, both at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to board certification as a family physician, Dr. Tyler has a Certificate of Added Qualifications in geriatrics and is a Certified Medical Director (CMD) in long-term care. As a fellowship-trained researcher, he assists resident physicians and faculty in conducting their scholarly work. Since 2013, he has directed the Developmental Disabilities Practice-Based Research Network, a community-based participatory network that brings together stakeholders across multiple domains of the developmental disabilities field. He is the current President of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068 for 2.0 contact hours.

Other healthcare professionals will receive a certificate of attendance for 1.7 contact hours.

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