Surviving Sepsis


Surviving Sepsis

Sepsis was identified as a disease process that would be seen across all adult intensive care specialties.  The mortality rate from severe sepsis remains high at 30 to 50 percent (Surviving Sepsis Campaign, 2011).  The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Simulation Program was implemented for the first time in 2007.  The purpose of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Simulation Program is to prepare nurses entering the adult intensive care unit environment to admit and care for critically ill patient with severe sepsis.  The simulation session is a capstone experience at the end of the 12-week A-CCIP. 

According to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, sepsis is defined as the 'body's response to an infection.  An infection is cause by microorganisms or "germs" (usually bacteria) invading the body, and can be limited to a particular body region (e.g., a tooth abscess) or can be widespread in the bloodstream (often called "septicemia").  Sepsis is a medical emergency just like a heart attack or a stroke because there is an interruption of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues including the vital organs such as the brain, intestines, liver, kidneys and lungs" (2011).

The Adult Critical Care Internship Program (A-CCIP) is made of new nurse graduates and experienced acute care nurses entering the adult intensive care unit environment. 

The adult intensive care units includes:

1. Cardiac Medical Intensive Care Unit - CMICU
2. Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit - CSICU
3. Trauma Intensive Care Unit - TICU
4. Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit – NSICU
5. Adult Intensive Care Float Pool 
A collaborative group between OHSU Hospital and the OHSU School of Nursing Simulation and Clinical Learning Center was formed to develop and implement a simulation based capstone experience at the end of the 12-week A-CCIP. 

Surviving Sepsis Simulation Coordinators

Donna Kurilo
         Donna Kurilo
Alycia Solis-Rivera
         Alycia Tutsch

Contact Us

Surviving Sepsis Campaign Simulation Program

Oregon Health & Science University
Mail Code: KPV12M
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland OR 97239-3098

General Program Questions

Phone: (503) 418-4196
Fax: (503) 418-8689

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Surviving Sepsis Campaign Simulation Program

Duration:  4-hour sessions that include didactic, mock sepsis case, debrief, and evaluation

  • Six-eight participants will split up into three teams to complete a progressive three-part scenario.  Each team will act as the primary team in one of the three-part progressive scenarios.  Additionally, each team will observe two of the three-part progressive scenarios.  The observers will refer to a debriefing guide to focus their observations.  Pre-briefing will occur before each progressive scenario.  Each progressive scenario will last for 15-20 minutes. The team will perform real-time hand-off report before debriefing is started.  Debriefing will occur for each progressive scenario and last 20-30 minutes.  Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their experience immediately after the session is complete as well as one week later.  Finally, program evaluations will be provided at the end of the session.

Frequency:  Quarterly 

Locations:  In-situ (locations vary)


Learning Goals

  1. Use standards, procedures and order sets to admit a patient to an adult intensive care environment
  2. Practice admitting an adult critical care patient
  3. Demonstrate integration of teamwork strategies
  4. Utilize resources in an adult intensive care environment
  5. Coordinate care needs of the patient and family
  6. Integrate national patient safety goals (NPSG) into practice
  • NPSG 02.03.01 - Improve staff communication
  • NPSG 03.04.01 - Use medicines safely
  • NPSG 07.01.01/07.04.01 - Prevent infections
  1. Apply new evidence-based practice standards to manage a patient with sever sepsis
  • Plan for aggressive fluid resuscitation
  • Differentiate between lactated ringers, crystalloids, and colloids
  • Collect lab samples and prepare for diagnostic examinations
  • Collect cultures before administering antibiotics
  • Advocate for central venous access and arterial blood pressure monitoring
  • Titrate vasopressors
  • Analyze and interpret lab values
  • Level and zero all pressure lines
  • Administer medications in a timely manner (e.g. fluids, vasopressors, antibiotics, acetaminophen, insulin, steroids)
  • Consider secondary vasopressor (e.g. vasopressin)
  • Address airway management
  1. Recognize risk factors for sepsis and signs of early sepsis
  2. Recognize typical clinical picture and patterns of severity
  3. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of each intervention
  4. Reflect-on-action by identifying areas of competence and practice gaps
  5. Recognize the family role when caring for high acuity patients
  6. Promote experiential learning principles using innovative teaching methods to improve practice and identify system gaps (e.g. manikin-based simulation)