‘Sepsis Smart’ campaign reaches Spanish and English speakers across Massachusetts for Sepsis Awareness Month

Building on successes from last year, the Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium is renewing its digital campaign to raise awareness about sepsis this month using graphics in Spanish and English. 

“Sepsis Smart” aims to spread information about this life-threatening illness and encourage people to act quickly if they suspect sepsis.

In 2021, the materials were seen nearly 5 million times across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Google. The video was viewed more than 495,000 times across platforms and there were more than 30,000 clicks to the website on mass.gov.

According to a new survey from the Sepsis Alliance, awareness of the term “sepsis” in the U.S. has ranged between 65% and 66% since 2018, with a spike of 71% in 2020, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the survey identified stark disparities in gender, race, education and income. Those who identify as white are significantly more likely to have heard the term “sepsis,” at 76%. That's compared to 45% of those who identify as Black and 40% of those who identify as Hispanic. While those with a college education or further schooling have a significantly higher awareness of the term sepsis than those with a high school education or lower, there remains a significant difference between white, Black and Hispanic respondents with the same level of education.

Sepsis Alliance slide 19

Sepsis continues to take lives and in Massachusetts, it is a top reason why people end up in the hospital. However, it is a treatable condition if caught early. The Consortium believes it’s important for the public to know the symptoms so they can advocate for themselves and loved ones and seek medical help right away if needed.

The Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium is a collaboration of more than 25 health care organizations working to lower sepsis morbidity and mortality across the state. In addition to the public awareness campaign, the Consortium has produced has produced recommendations for two settings where early recognition of sepsis can be critical: emergency departments and post-acute care.


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