Patient Advocate for Healthcare Technology Leadership
Since his 12-year-old son’s preventable death from sepsis in 2012, Ciaran Staunton, together with his wife, Orlaith, has dedicated his life to improving sepsis outcomes and reducing sepsis mortality rates in the United States and beyond. The Stauntons established the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention in 2012, in honor of their son, and focus their efforts on sepsis education and awareness programming and the development and implementation of sepsis protocols in hospitals. New York State became the first in the nation to adopt the Stauntons’ mandatory sepsis protocols, called Rory’s Regulations, in 2013. They are projected to save up to 8,000 lives annual in that state. A set of mandatory sepsis protocols based on Rory’s Regulations was introduced in Illinois and other states are set to follow in 2017. The goal is to implement mandatory regulations in every state by 2020.
On September 24, 2013, Ciaran testified at the fist Senate Hearing on Sepsis. The Foundation is also responsible for the development of sepsis education programs for schools and the Annual National Forum on Sepsis, which brings together policymakers, healthcare experts, educators and patient advocates to address challenges, recognize best practices and chart new pathways in the fight against sepsis. In 2015, the Foundation established the National Family Council on Sepsis, a network of families impacted by sepsis, that provides a platform for members to advocate for improved sepsis care in their states and nationally and acts as support group for victims and their loved ones.
In 2016 following protracted efforts by the Rory Staunton Foundation, the federal government for the first time allocated major funding towards sepsis. In August 2016 The CDC declared sepsis a “medical emergency.” Members of the National Family Council participated in four PSA announcements produced by the Rory Staunton Foundation that went viral with over half a million views in the first few days. In September 2016 the Rory Staunton Foundation was honored with a Global Sepsis Award because of it “unique success to increase awareness for sepsis on all levels of society.”