Nurses on 7SE with sepsis t-shirts
13 September 2019
News Category: 

The Royal Melbourne Hospital-led ‘Think sepsis. Act fast.’ program has been responsible for saving the lives of 52 Victorians and reduced total hospital length of stay by 3,781 bed days, according to a new report released today.

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos formally released the findings of ‘Think sepsis. Act fast.’ Sepsis Scaling Collaboration program today - a two-year initiative led by RMH across 11 health services in Victoria.

Director NHMRC National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Clinical Lead of Sepsis Pathway at RMH, Professor Karin Thursky , said the pathway created the structures and processes to tackle sepsis.

“The journey to establish a whole of hospital clinical pathway has really highlighted just how important it is to ensure consumers, patients, nurses and other medical staff are all aware what sepsis means,” Prof Thursky said.

“This pathway has demonstrated the benefit of empowering front line staff to initiate the pathway, particularly our nurses and junior staff.”

Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction in response to an infection. It occurs when the immune system releases too many chemicals into the blood to fight an infection.

While a little-known condition among the public, sepsis kills 5000 Australians every year, with a burden of death greater than the annual national road toll.

By implementing the ‘Think sepsis. Act fast’ program supported by the Better Care Victoria innovation fund, our service – along with other participating sites – in just four months:

  • saved 52 lives
  • avoided 96 intensive care unit admissions
  • reduced total hospital length of stay by more than 3,780 bed days
  • saved $11.7 million based on reduced length of stay and reduction in cost
  • demonstrated a six-fold return on investment.

For more information on the ‘Think Sepsis. Act fast.’ initiative, go to

For more information on World Sepsis Day, go to

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