The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention and Roche Diagnostics today announced the launch of a social media initiative aimed at driving education and prevention of sepsis – a condition stemming from infection that in the U.S. affects more than 1.6 million people and claims more than 250,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “With the launch of www.flytofightsepsis.com, we hope to empower others with the information we never had,” said Rory Staunton Foundation’s co-founder, Ciaran Staunton, whose 12-year-old son died of sepsis. “Knowing the signs of sepsis has the power to save so many lives. It could have saved our son Rory’s life.”
Sepsis, commonly called “blood poisoning,” is an illness caused by the body’s extreme response to any kind of infection. It can result in organ failure and death if not quickly diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. For 12-year-old Rory Staunton, a simple scrape on the elbow during gym class progressed rapidly to the severe sepsis that took his life four days later. “Sepsis is a leading cause of death for children worldwide,” says Orlaith Staunton, co-founder of the Rory Staunton Foundation. “I’m enormously hopeful that this campaign will help to spread the signs of sepsis and inspire people to take action against this indiscriminate killer.”
The Fly to Fight Sepsis campaign encourages individuals to share the signs of sepsis through social media and email and pledge action to support sepsis policy improvements. The campaign uses a the paper airplane in honor of young Rory Staunton’s passion for flying and as a symbol of remembrance and hope for families and survivors.
“We all share the vision of keeping people safe from sepsis by learning to recognize the signs,” said Roche Diagnostics Senior Vice President of Marketing Randy Pritchard. “This social media campaign, inspired by Rory’s dream of becoming a pilot, makes it easy for people to share the signs of sepsis with their friends and family.”