Sepsis Alliance Releases PSA to Help Children Learn to Stay Sepsis Safe

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In observation of Pediatric Sepsis Week, Sepsis Alliance debuts a PSA featuring Bug, an animated ladybug, to help kids learn to stay infection and sepsis safe. Bug is voiced by pediatric sepsis survivor and America's Got Talent star, Angelica Hale.

With the world swept by COVID-19, it is more important than ever for parents and children to learn about infection prevention and sepsis because sepsis is a common and serious complication of COVID-19.

In observation of the second annual Pediatric Sepsis Week (April 19, 2020 – April 25, 2020), Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s lead sepsis organization, released a public service announcement featuring the animated ladybug character Bug to help educate children and parents about sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to an infection. Sepsis affects 25 million children every year and is the leading cause of death of children globally.

“With the world swept by COVID-19, it is more important than ever for parents and children to learn about infection prevention and sepsis because sepsis is a common and serious complication of COVID-19," said Karin Molander, MD, FACEP, the Chair of the Sepsis Alliance Board of Directors and an emergency department physician. “When a COVID-19 patient is sick enough to be hospitalized it is because they have sepsis.”

“In the PSA, Bug walks parents and children through the sepsis and infection connection in an easy to understand and relatable way,” said Thomas Heyman the President and Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “We don’t want to scare children and parents, but we want them to be aware so they know when to seek medical care. Bug helped us strike that balance.”

Bug is a friendly ladybug who loves to help children learn about infection prevention and staying sepsis safe. She is voiced by pediatric sepsis survivor and America’s Got Talent finalist Angelica Hale.

“It is really special for me to get to be the voice of Bug and help spread awareness of sepsis in children during Pediatric Sepsis Week,” said Angelica, the 12-year-old star. “Through my own experience surviving sepsis when I was just 4 years old, I know how important it is for parents and kids to be aware of sepsis so they can act fast.”

Bug was created by illustrator Alyssia Aguilar for Sepsis Alliance in loving memory of her son Mark Anthony II. Mark tragically lost his life to sepsis when he was only 16 days old. Aguilar was inspired to create Bug by the spirit of Erin “Bug” Flatley, an aspiring teacher who passed away from sepsis when she was 23 years old. After losing Erin, her father Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, founded Sepsis Alliance. The PSA was written by Sharon Eisenberg and it was animated by Anna Cardillo.

Sepsis Alliance launched Pediatric Sepsis Week in 2019 to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis in children, recognize the 75,000 children who develop sepsis each year in the U.S, and honor those who have passed. This annual observance is held during the third week of April.

To learn how to spot the signs of sepsis in children and watch Bug’s PSA, visit

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the first and leading sepsis organization in the U.S., working to save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care. In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month to bring healthcare professionals and community members together in the fight against sepsis. Sepsis Alliance gives a voice to the millions of people who have been touched by sepsis – to the survivors, and the friends and family members of those who have survived or who have died. Since 2003, sepsis awareness in the U.S. has risen from 19% to 65%. Sepsis Alliance is a GuideStar Gold Rated charity. For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.

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Angelica Estrada
Sepsis Alliance
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sepsis and children, infection prevention