JUST ASK, ‘Could it be sepsis?’ – You could save someone’s life
Throughout June we have been running a Sepsis Awareness Campaign. Sepsis can affect anyone. By being more aware you could help save the life of a member of your family or a friend.
We want to encourage everyone to every time they come across someone with any type of infection and they appear unwell to JUST ASK ‘Could it be sepsis? In the case of this condition, fast action is what saves lives.
The UK Sepsis Trust reports that every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in a staggering 44,000 deaths.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is caused by the way the body responds to germs, such as bacteria, getting into your body. The infection may have started anywhere in a sufferer’s body, and may be only in one part of the body or it may be widespread. Sepsis can occur following chest or water infections, problems in the abdomen like burst ulcers, or simple skin injuries like cuts and bites.
Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.
Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without them making us ill. Sometimes, though, the body responds abnormally to these infections, and causes sepsis.
Why are we doing the campaign?
We have a responsibility as an NHS organisation to raise awareness of this serious condition. We want to raise awareness with all of our staff to make sure they are aware of the symptoms to look out for, so whenever they are treating patients with infections they will ask themselves, ‘Could it be sepsis?’ We also want to raise awareness with you, our patients and the public. The more people who are aware of this deadly condition the better. You could save the life of someone you know.
What are the symptoms?
In adults In children
Slurred speech or confusion 1. Is breathing very fast
Extreme shivering or muscle pain 2. Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
Passing no urine (in a day) 3. Looks mottled bluish, or pale
Sever breathlessneess 4. Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
"I feel like I might die" 5. Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
Skin mottled or discoloured 6. Feels abnormally cold to touch
For more information on the condition you can visit nhs.uk/sepsis. You can also find out about the fantastic work of The UK Sepsis Trust, which raises awareness and supports those affected.