Disaster Medicine: Sepsis

Disaster Medicine: Sepsis

5 (1 vote)

Recorded On: 09/21/2021


Populations affected by disasters are exposed to a variety of health hazards such as trauma, burns, poor sanitation, and mass sheltering, all of which place them at increased risk of infection and sepsis. Under the austere, resource-limited conditions typical of disaster zones, the clinical identification and management of sepsis can be more challenging compared to normal operating conditions in conventional health care settings. This training module will provide guidance on how to recognize, assess, and evacuate patients with or at risk of sepsis in the context of a disaster response.

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Understand the fundamentals of sepsis, including its definition and basic pathophysiology;
  • Recognize sepsis in the field;
  • Identify, assess, and prioritize at-risk patients as they arrive in the triage tent;
  • Promote, during a disaster event, the immediate intervention and stabilization of sepsis patients and those at highest risk of developing sepsis;
  • Describe the preparation and process for rapidly stabilizing and evacuating the highest priority patients under austere conditions.

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.

Runa Gokhale, MD, MPH

Medical Officer, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Runa Hatti Gokhale is a team lead in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion where she oversees invasive Staphylococcus aureus surveillance and serves as science lead for Agency sepsis activities. She is a Commander in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service. Runa is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and before joining CDC worked as a hospitalist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, where she continues to attend on the inpatient medicine service. Runa received a BA from Brown University, an MD from Jefferson Medical College, and an MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

No financial relationships to disclose.

Richard Catherina, MD

Senior Medical Officer

National Disaster Medical System, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Richard A. Catherina, M.D., is the Senior Medical Officer of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), under the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In this role Dr. Catherina is the principal medical consultant to the NDMS Director and serves as subject matter expert for multiple programs within the NDMS portfolio, including force health protection, operational medicine, aeromedical evacuation, infection control, credentialing and privileging, and clinical quality management.  A graduate of Muhlenberg College, he is a former Naval Aviator who transitioned to the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, where he practiced primary care, occupational, and hospital medicine before retiring from active duty as a Senior Medical Officer with the U.S. Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force.  Dr. Catherina received his medical doctorate from the Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

No financial relationships to disclose.

Timothy G. Buchman PhD, MD, FACS, FCCP, MCCM

Professor of Surgery, Professor of Anesthesiology, Professor of Biomedical Informatics

Emory University School of Medicine

Timothy G. Buchman, PhD, MD, FACS, FCCP, MCCM has four decades of bedside experience caring for septic patients. A general surgeon, intensive care doctor and virologist, he is currently Senior Advisor, IPA to the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Buchman’s other current roles include Professor of Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Biomedical Informatics at Emory University, where he founded the Emory Critical Care Center. Dr. Buchman is past president of the Shock Society, of the Society for Complex Acute Illness and of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the latter being the largest organization of critical care professionals in the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of Critical Care Medicine (www.ccmjournal.org) and Critical Care Explorations (www.ccejournal.org). He is a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. He also serves as site director of the military-civilian partnership, Surgical Critical Care Institute (www.sc2i.org).

No financial relationships to disclose.

Robert D. McLeroy, MD


Medical ICU Director, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Robert Dustin McLeroy is a medical intensivist in the U.S. Army and currently serves as the Medical ICU Director at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he is also core faculty for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program. His scholarly interests include critical care delivered in remote and austere environments. He is also a Director for the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support – Resource Limited course.  Robert’s medical career started as a volunteer EMT in rural Colorado. He then received a BA from the University of Colorado Denver and an MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.   

No financial relationships to disclose.

The content and views presented in this educational activity are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Medical Education Resources or Sepsis Alliance. The authors have disclosed if there is any discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA in their presentations. Before prescribing any medicine, primary references and full prescribing information should be consulted. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management.

imageIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Medical Education Resources (MER) and Sepsis Alliance. MER is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team

Physician Credit

imageMedical Education Resources designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. To contact MER: info@cmepartner.org

MER's Privacy Policy:  http://cmepartner.org/privacy-policy/

Nurse and Participation Credit

Sepsis Alliance is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068 for 1.9 contact hours.This activity is jointly provided by Medical Education Resources and Sepsis Alliance. 

Other healthcare providers will receive a certificate of attendance for 1.5 contact hours.

Medical Disclaimer

The information on or available through this site is intended for educational purposes only. Sepsis Alliance does not represent or guarantee that information on or available through this site is applicable to any specific patient’s care or treatment. The educational content on or available through this site does not constitute medical advice from a physician and is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician or other healthcare provider. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

Financial Relationship Disclosures

Sepsis Alliance planners and MER content managers had no financial relationships to disclose.

Components visible upon registration.