Published on September 16, 2020

Tower Health Recognizes Sepsis Awareness Month 

Health system educates community on prevention and treatmentscott mccurley

West Reading, PA., September 16, 2020 – Tower Health joins healthcare organizations around the world in recognizing "Sepsis Awareness Month.” Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection. For reasons that are not well-understood, sepsis develops when an individual’s immune system suddenly stops fighting an infection and instead fuels it. When a person is septic, the body releases immune chemicals into the blood. These chemicals trigger widespread inflammation, which can impair blood flow and lead to tissue damage, organ failure, or death.

Sepsis is preventable and treatable in most cases with early recognition. That’s why it’s critical to be aware of sepsis and to recognize the symptoms.

While most Americans have heard of sepsis, only 12 percent can identify the most common symptoms. While there is no single symptom of sepsis, signs of sepsis can include a combination of the following:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Fever or shivering – or feeling very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin

"Improving care of patients with sepsis is a priority at each Tower Health hospital,” said Debra Powell, MD, Chief, Section of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Reading Hospital. "Each of our hospitals have a multidisciplinary team committed to the goal of expediting care to patients suspected of having sepsis to achieve the best outcomes for the individual."

Anyone can develop sepsis, but those most at-risk include children younger than one, adults age 65 or older, and individuals with chronic diseases and weakened immune systems. Prevention of sepsis includes following a general hygiene plan, washing your hands, and taking care of any open wounds. If a patient in an emergency room or hospital is suspected of being septic, the hospital will give antibiotics and IV fluids and will conduct tests to determine the condition and best course of treatment.

“Our team at Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health is trained to quickly recognize and treat anyone with suspected sepsis in an efficient and compassionate manner,” said Scott D. McCurley, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer and Department of Emergency Medicine Chairman at Brandywine Hospital. “Our goal is ensuring quality care is delivered to all patients, every day.”

Take time during Sepsis Awareness Month to educate yourself about the symptoms of severe infection and sepsis. If you think you may be septic alert a medical professional immediately or call 911 and say, "I am concerned about sepsis."

Physicians interviews are available upon request.

About Tower Health

Tower Health is a strong, regional, integrated healthcare provider/payer system that offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to a population of 2.5 million people. With more than 12,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 22 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,200 physicians, specialists, and providers across more than 230 convenient locations. For more information, visit

About Brandywine HospitalMain Entrance

Located in Chester County, Pa., and a member of Tower Health, Brandywine Hospital is a nonprofit, 171-bed acute-care hospital with private rooms that has been providing high-quality, compassionate care in the community for more than 100 years. The hospital's key services include cardiology, emergency medicine, orthopedics, behavioral health (adult, older adult), general and robotic surgery, specialized care for eating disorders, and outpatient services (radiology/women's imaging, laboratory, cardio-pulmonary, occupational, physical and speech therapy, primary care, and wound care). Fully accredited by The Joint Commission, Brandywine Hospital is also an accredited Chest Pain Center by the American Academy of Cardiology and the recipient of The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for excellence in acute myocardial infarction, hip replacement, knee replacement, stroke, and wound care. For more information, visit