Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI MyHealth Lecture series

The RCSI MyHealth Lecture series is for people who want to learn more about common illnesses and health related topics, and how we can improve our personal health and well-being.

Join the RCSI MyHealth conversation at #RCSIMyHealth or subscribe to the RCSI YouTube channel, where you'll find extensive video content on a range of health science topics.

Upcoming MyHealth lecture

MyHealth lecture sepsis 


Date: 6pm, Wednesday, 24 January
Venue: RCSI, St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

Sepsis, otherwise known as blood poisoning, is a silent killer because it is unpredictable, rapid and can go undiagnosed due to its non-specific signs and symptoms.

Masquerading as flu or chest infection or even a stomach bug, it triggers a sustained and excessive immune response that is very difficult to control from a medical point of view. Due to the seriousness of sepsis and the rapid progression, patients are always treated in the intensive care unit.

Sepsis claims more lives than breast cancer, bowel cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. Although the true incidence is unknown, conservative estimates indicate that sepsis is the leading cause of death worldwide.

There are an estimated 20 million new cases of sepsis worldwide per year with a mortality rate of up to 50%, which translates to 20,000 deaths per day. The high fatality rate is likely due to the lack of knowledge around signs and symptoms of sepsis.

It is the most expensive condition to treat in hospitals, costing the global economy more than €18 billion per year. This places a severe burden on our already over stretched healthcare system.

Those who survive sepsis report significant long-term disability which has an enormous personal impact on the patient and their family.

This public lecture aims to begin a national conversation which helps people to recognise the signs and symptoms of sepsis, and empowers them with the information they need to ask the right questions if they have a concern about sepsis.


  • Ciarán Staunton, of the Rory Staunton Foundation, will travel from New York to tell his son's story. In 2012, 12 year old Rory developed sepsis after cutting his arm playing basketball. Tragically, Rory's sepsis went undiagnosed until it was too late, and sadly he passed away. Ciarán and his wife Orlaith established the Rory Staunton Foundation to raise public awareness of sepsis, ensuring that no other child or young adult dies of sepsis resulting from the lack of a speedy diagnosis and immediate medical treatment.
  • Prof. Steve Kerrigan is Associate Professor in Pharmacology at RCSI and inventor of InnovoSep, a potential new breakthrough therapy in the fight against sepsis. Steve is a passionate advocate for educating people about the signs of sepsis.
  • Prof. Ger Curley, RCSI Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Anaesthesia will discuss the devastating effects of sepsis, current treatment strategies available and will highlight new innovative treatments currently being developed and trialed globally.
  • Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick, RCSI Senior Lecturer and Consultant Microbiologist will outline the national strategy and guidelines as part of the Patient Safety First Initiative. This initiative aims to facilitate early recognition, in order to maximise survival opportunity and minimise the burden of chronic sequelae.

Catchup on previous RCSI MyHealth lectures by watching them back here.