Sepsis Awareness

2nd October 2017 Clinical Negligence

Sepsis, often called the 'deadliest killer you've never heard of', affects hundreds of thousands of people a year. It is the body's overwhelming response to infection and takes 44,000 lives a year in the UK.

Typical symptoms may include blue or pale skin, lethargy and fast breathing. It is essential that antibiotic treatment is given as soon as possible.

Current guidance for medical professionals assessing patients with suspected sepsis can be found in the NICE Guideline (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) published in July 2016.

There has recently been an increased drive to raise public awareness of the condition and to improve standards amongst medical professions. Sepsis Awareness Day took place on 13 September 2017 and aimed to educate the public about the possible signs and symptoms to look out for.

On the same day, NICE published a paper setting out for improvement in the services associated with sepsis.

There are numerous recent examples of measures are being taken to improve on the early identification of sepsis: this Guardian article details how the NHS has provided GPs with automatic prompts alerting them to potential sepsis cases, whilst procedural changes mean that ambulance teams now alert hospital emergency services of incoming sepsis patients.

I and my colleagues are aware of the devastating impact which can be caused by a delay in diagnosing or treating the initial infection or sepsis itself.

Whilst the recent campaign to raise awareness was focused on public perception of the condition, it is crucial that improvements also continue to be made by health care practitioners to reduce the impact of this life-threatening condition.

To discuss sepsis or your own situation with myself or a member of the team here at JMW please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Steven Brown is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Clinical Negligence department

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