Newswise — Houston Methodist Global Health Services is working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Health to decrease sepsis across the entire area.

On the heels of a Houston visit by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Houston Methodist Global Health Services, the international arm of Houston Methodist, will be the first U.S. health care-based entity to undertake such an effort, as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious program of social and economic renewal.

The Saudi Patient Safety Center, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Houston Methodist, will launch the first national sepsis reduction campaign in the Kingdom, using a successful sepsis prevention and reduction program created at Houston Methodist Hospital.

“We’ve had a longstanding business relationship with Saudi Arabia, implementing programs for medical students and physicians and guiding health care providers on ways to deliver the highest level of care to their patients. Now we want to share our successes with sepsis prevention, and help save lives in the Kingdom,” said Cathy Easter, President and CEO of Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition when the body's response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. It is the leading cause of death by infection globally, with an estimated 30 million new cases diagnosed each year. Of these, 6 to 8 million patients die.

The Houston Methodist sepsis program focused on several major components including an early detection screening tool to help bedside nurses screen patients. Another significant component included screening and response protocols for newly admitted patients from the emergency department or other health care facility, as well as patients in the intensive care units. Over the course of eight years, Houston Methodist Hospital reported more than 1,000 lives saved and a reduction in hospital costs of more than $35 million. These guidelines have since been implemented across the U.S.

Dr. Faisal Masud, medical director of critical care at Houston Methodist Hospital and vice chair for quality and patient safety, will lead the Kingdom’s multi-year project which will begin with a pilot study later this year.

Sepsis is most common and most dangerous in the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Early treatment, usually with antibiotics and large amounts of intravenous fluids, typically improves chances for survival.

For interview requests, contact Gale Smith at [email protected] or 832.667.5843. For more information on Houston Methodist Global Health Services, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.