It’s the time of year again when the Trust encourages all staff to think about having the flu jab - to protect themselves and the people they care for and care about.
The flu vaccine is available for free to all staff and vaccination clinics are running across the Trust. Our team of peer vaccinators are also available to vaccinate their colleagues, to try and make it as easy as possible for anyone who wishes to have the jab without being inconvenienced.
Evidence has shown that healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus than the general population. It has been estimated that up to one in four healthcare workers may become infected with flu, even in a mild flu season, so it is really important that our staff have the vaccination.
Many people don’t think that flu is that serious. It is not just a bad cold. It is a potentially life threatening disease. By sparing five minutes to get vaccinated, an individual can protect not only themselves, but many other people from becoming ill - this is why encouraging our staff to be vaccinated is so important to us.
This year, we have launched a special campaign asking everyone who has the flu jab to share their own reasons why. To let colleagues, friends and family and the people they care for at work know why it is important to them. We have had fantastic engagement with this on Twitter and Facebook with many familiar faces sharing their reasons why they have the vaccination. Search #whywejab to see if you recognise anyone.
Flu jabs for the public
The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. You can find out if you are eligible and where you can get vaccinated on the NHS England website
Seasonal Influenza and Sepsis
An episode of seasonal influenza (flu) can progress to pneumonia and as a result of this complication sepsis can occur, as with any bodily infection.
Sepsis was previously known as septicaemia or blood poisoning and can affect anyone suffering from an infection. The body attacks its own organs and tissues and if not recognised and treated quickly can lead to multiple organ failure and death.
Infections which can give rise to sepsis are the common ones such as lung infections like pneumonia, this can be secondary to seasonal influenza; urine infections, infections in wounds, bites or in the joints and from problems like burst ulcers.
It’s often difficult to distinguish sepsis from flu in the early stages, so if you have recently had a fever or develop any of the following symptoms it’s important to get professional help quickly and ask, “Could this be sepsis?”
Symptoms you should look for include:
• Slurred speech or confusion
• Extreme shivering or muscle pain
• Passing no urine in a day
• Severe breathlessness
• “I feel like I might die”
• Skin mottled or discoloured