Post-Sepsis Syndrome: Recognition and Management

Post-Sepsis Syndrome: Recognition and Management

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Recorded On: 12/12/2019


Post-sepsis syndrome affects up to 50% sepsis survivors, and is associated with cognitive, physical, and mental health impairments. Healthcare professionals who recognize post-sepsis syndrome and initiate treatment can positively impact post-sepsis quality of life in their patients. This webinar reviews signs and symptoms of sepsis and categorizes them from a review of the literature. Opportunities for improving outcomes, including determination of a patient’s goals of care, functional and mental health rehabilitation, and infection prevention, are discussed. 

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Describe signs and symptoms of post-sepsis syndrome and their relationship to sepsis;
  • Restate the cognitive, physical, and mental health impairments that may be present after sepsis;
  • Identify how to determine a post-sepsis patient’s pre-sepsis function and goals of care;
  • List five strategies to improve recovery after sepsis;
  • Summarize approaches to optimize communication with post-sepsis syndrome patients regarding treatment and follow-up care.

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 Supporters: 

Sepsis Alliance gratefully acknowledges the support provided for this webinar by the Sepsis Alliance Clinical Community sponsors and by Merck.


Cairn Ruhumuliza, RN, MS, CPHQ

Sepsis Coordinator/Abstractor

McLaren Northern Michigan

With over 45 years of experience in nursing, Cairn has had many different roles in the profession.  Cairn’s clinical background is primarily critical care, and she has maintained CCRN certification for almost her entire career.  Cairn has taught nursing academically for a number of years, in addition to roles in administration/professional development, vendor support education, entrepreneurship, and international nursing. Prior to joining McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, Cairn served 3 years as a mentor to the Dean of the School of Nursing in Rwanda, Africa, with the goal of building health care capacity for the Dean, faculty, students, and nurses in the country.  This was through a partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Human Resources for Health and the University of Chicago, Illinois. In her current role as Sepsis Coordinator for McLaren Northern Michigan, and as chair of the McLaren system-wide Sepsis Excellence Team, Cairn focuses uniquely on sepsis issues and concerns.  This has allowed major advances in patient outcomes, through education, systems management, and careful monitoring and mid-stream adjustments of goals based on data.

Catherine (Terri) Hough, MD, MSc

Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

University of Washington

Terri Hough is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Hough is an intensivist, working in the Medical and Trauma-Surgical ICUs at Harborview Medical Center. She is an NIH-funded researcher focused on improving outcomes after critical illness and injury. She is Principal Investigator of the Pacific Northwest Clinical Center of the NHLBI-funded PETAL Network, and Principal Investigator/Co-Investigator on many ongoing clinical trials, implementation science, and epidemiologic studies of patients with ARDS, sepsis, and chronic critical illness. Dr. Hough received a B.A. in Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, and a M.Sc. in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She did her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has been at the University of Washington since 1999.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17068 for 1.6 contact hours.

Other healthcare professionals will receive a certificate of attendance for 1.25 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 professional. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare professional regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

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