07 January 2019
Ultimately sepsis is the body’s response to an infection whereby the immune system ends up attacking the organs and tissues. This however can be treated with antibiotics and early intervention.
The Sepsis Trust UK have been working hard with healthcare providers like Spire to ensure Sepsis is highlighted and that adequate training and provisions are made for healthcare professionals to spot the signs of sepsis earlier, therefore potentially saving 14,000 lives with appropriate treatment.
Within Spire, healthcare professionals have the NEWS (National Early Warning Score) that can assist in identifying a deteriorating patient. The guideline is that if the NEWS scores >5 the Sepsis Pathway should be triggered.
Sepsis currently is responsible for 44,000 Deaths a year in the UK and costing a staggering £2 billion. Sadly that number is on the increase. Sepsis awareness is also on the increase so hopefully this will mean that in time the numbers will reduce.
Sepsis can affect individuals in different ways but essentially someone should seek medical help with the following symptoms in adults:
- Slurred speech
- Extreme shivering and muscle pain
- Not passed urine in a day
- Severe breathlessness
- Sense of impending doom/ the feeling that you are going to die
- Mottled or discoloured skin
In children, people should seek help with the following symptoms:
- Feeling unwell with fever or low temperature in last 24hrs
- Breathing is rapid
- Has a fit or convulsion
- Looks mottled/bluish or pale
- Has a rash that does not fade when pressed
- Lethargic or difficult to wake
- Feels abnormally cold to the touch
As highlighted above it is not just adults that are affected by sepsis. Currently 25,000 children are affected every year in the UK by sepsis.
In 2016 the Sepsis Trust UK worked with the British film industry to produce a film called ‘STARFISH’ which highlighted sepsis and the affect it can have not only on an individual but the family members too. The film was very powerful and clearly got the message across to the general public. A must see for anyone.