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What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by the body’s overreaction to an infection. To learn more about sepsis, view our What is Sepsis? page.

Who We Are

Sepsis Canada is a research network made up of researchers, health care providers, trainees and patient partners from across Canada, with a wide range of expertise and experience. Together, our members work together to improve the awareness, care and recovery from sepsis for all Canadians.

Patient Partners

Why We Do It

A photo of Ellie and Kristine RussellAn estimated 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis-related deaths were reported worldwide. This represents almost 20% of all global deaths1. Additionally, it is estimated that sepsis costs Canadians $1.7B annually2.

If sepsis is not recognized early, it can lead to septic shock, organ failure and death. Our goal is to reduce the burden of sepsis for patients and families in Canada, by better understanding the causes and improving the prevention, detection and management of sepsis.

“When our newborn baby became critically ill, we didn’t even know what sepsis was.  Knowing that there is a network in Canada devoted to improving awareness, care and recovery for families like ours is truly indescribable.”

- Sepsis Survivor Ellie Russell’s Parents





Rudd KE, Johnson SC, Agesa KM, et al. Global, regional, and national sepsis incidence and mortality, 1990-2017: analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet. 2020;395(10219):200-211. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32989-7

Farrah K, McIntyre L, Doig CJ, et al. Sepsis-Associated Mortality, Resource Use, and Healthcare Costs: A Propensity-Matched Cohort Study. Crit Care Med. 2021;49(2):215-227. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000004777