In the fall of 2010, the Merinoff Symposium hosted an international gathering of more than 200 stakeholders concerned about the burden of sepsis. Attendees included Maureen Bisognano, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI); Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs; Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, founder and chairman of the Sepsis Alliance; John Howe, MD, president and CEO of Project Hope; Keith Martin, MD, Member of Parliament, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, British Columbia, Canada; and Thomas Deufel, MD, State Secretary in the Thuringian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Germany.
Co-hosting were the International Sepsis Forum, the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies, the Sepsis Alliance and the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine. These same organizations founded the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA), which held its first gathering concurrent with the symposium.
A “Message of Hope” and “Call to Action” to save lives by treating sepsis as a medical emergency treatable with fluids and antibiotics within one hour of recognition was broadcasted to the world. “Sepsis as an Emergency” initiatives have been launched in multiple countries with Germany, Brazil, the UK, Greece and the US leading the way. Information regarding the design and execution of programs is being freely shared throughout the GSA. It is anticipated that efforts to gather data will demonstrate what experts agree to be true: that sepsis is the leading cause of death worldwide and that many can be saved if sepsis is treated as a medical emergency.