Rory Staunton’s death will save up to 8,000 lives a year after the introduction of new hospital procedures in the state of New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has responded to Rory’s tragic death from severe septic shock by ordering the new measures.
He is to order that every hospital in New York must adopt aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis in patients.
These will include the use of a countdown clock to begin treatment within an hour of spotting it.
A report in the New York Times says that the new steps could save 5,000 to 8,000 lives annually and reduce the long-term costs of the condition.
The report says state regulators will also develop new procedures for parents to ‘play a meaningful and informed role’ in decisions made about care for their children.
The NY Times says that both initiatives are a legacy of 12-year-old Rory’s tragic death last year after he was sent home from the emergency room at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Parents Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton said they did not realize that the results of blood tests ordered for their son had not come back at the time he was discharged.
The results suggested that Rory could be critically ill but his parents only learned about them after Rory’s untimely death when they received a laboratory bill.
The Staunton case is cited in the governor’s message as bringing new urgency to the efforts.
Rory’s parents have welcomed the new measures undertaken by the governor.
Ciaran Staunton said: “I think this is a great step for Governor Cuomo to take.
“You cannot just hand-wring any more and say, ‘We’re doing our best.’ This has to be tackled.”
Orlaith Staunton and her husband have urged that state law mandates that hospitals inform parents about test results as well as other diagnoses that were considered.
She said: “Most doctors already do that so it shouldn’t be a problem to require it so that they all do it.”
Rory died of severe septic shock. Sepsis is a runaway response by the immune system to an infection.
New York is now adopting standards similar to those recommended last year for all of America by the National Quality Forum, a consortium of health care experts that provides guidance to hospitals and the Medicare system on best practices.
State health commissioner, Nirav R. Shah, held a conference on sepsis in November.
Governor Cuomo’s message notes that experts have been calling for action on sepsis for more than a decade, and that simple screening tools used by Kaiser Permanente in California, and Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, two hospital chains, had drastically reduced sepsis mortality rates.