Northwell Health physician Martin Doerfler, MD, received the Sepsis Alliance’s Sepsis Heroes Award Thursday night for his work in raising awareness of the deadly condition and leading clinical efforts that have saved thousands of lives. The award was recently presented at the Sepsis Alliance’s fifth Sepsis Heroes Gala, which included medical experts, educators, sepsis survivors and advocates as part of the organization’s activities surrounding Sepsis Awareness Month.
“With sepsis affecting more than one million Americans every year – up to 50 percent of whom die, it is important that we raise awareness,” said Dr. Doerfler, Northwell Health’s senior vice president of clinical strategy and development, and associate chief medical officer. “I’m happy to be recognized by the Sepsis Alliance for the contribution that Northwell Health has made to this important cause.”
Dr. Doerfler was recognized by the Alliance for raising awareness and working to shorten sepsis diagnosis time – a key factor in preventing loss of life. Heading the Northwell Health Sepsis Task Force, his team reviewed previous cases throughout Northwell Health to identify the key signs for sepsis. Through this work, they developed a new protocol that includes early administration of fluids and antibiotics, and implemented it throughout Northwell Health’s network of hospitals. As a result, sepsis-related mortalities within Northwell Health were reduced by nearly 70 percent, which equates to thousands of lives saved.
To view a video about Northwell Health’s effort to reduce sepsis mortality, click here.
"In our almost 10 years battling sepsis, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in awareness from just 19 percent in 2007 to 55 percent today,” said Sepsis Alliance Executive Director Thomas Heymann. “While we’re excited about this progress, we must continue educating the public about the symptoms of sepsis and helping healthcare providers to rapidly diagnose and treat sepsis as a medical emergency.”