On August 18, 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 2403, also known as “Gabby’s Law.” The bill was named in memory of Gabby Galbo, a 5 year old who died from Sepsis, which is a life threatening response to an infection within the body. Gabby developed sepsis from an undiagnosed case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The law requires Illinois Hospitals to “adopt, implement, and periodically update evidence based protocols for the early recognition and treatment of patients with sepsis, severe sepsis or septic shock.”
These protocols include a process for the screening and early recognition of patients with sepsis, a process to identify and document individuals appropriate for treatment and explicit criteria defining those patients who should be excluded, such as patients with certain clinical conditions or who have elected palliative care. The new law also provides guidelines for patient monitoring.
Hospitals will be required to have protocols set up to identify the infectious source and deliver broad spectrum antibiotics with timely re-evaluation to adjust to narrow spectrum antibiotics. Each hospital shall ensure that professional staff with direct patient care responsibilities and staff with indirect patient care responsibilities are periodically trained to implement the sepsis protocols. Hospitals will also be required to update training of staff when the hospital initiates substantive changes to the sepsis protocols.
The goal of Gabby’s law is to reduce the number of deaths each year caused by undiagnosed sepsis. By implementing new protocols the hope is to be able to detect sepsis infections early enough to be able to treat the infection as efficiently as possible.
A failure to properly diagnosis and treat sepsis often times forms the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital.