Health care providers are key to preventing, recognizing and rapidly treating sepsis, since seven in 10 patients who develop sepsis recently interacted with a health care provider or are likely to due to a chronic condition, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency is partnering with provider organizations and patients to raise awareness about sepsis, a life-threatening complication of infection that begins outside of the hospital for nearly 80% of patients. "When sepsis occurs, it should be treated as a medical emergency," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D. “Doctors and nurses can prevent sepsis and also the devastating effects of sepsis, and patients and families can watch for sepsis and ask, ‘could this be sepsis?’"