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25% of all sepsis survivors suffer permanent, life-changing after effects.

5 people are killed by sepsis every hour in the UK

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is triggered by infections but it develops because of an over-reaction by the immune system.

The infection could come from anywhere – even a contaminated cut or insect bite.

Normally, the immune system kicks in to fight an infection and stop it spreading.

But if the infection manages to spread quickly round the body, then the immune system will launch a massive immune response to fight it.

And this can have catastrophic effects on the body, leading to septic shock, organ failure and even death.

Dubbed the “hidden killer”, it is hard to spot as there is not a simple definitive test or obvious symptom.

To counter this, hospitals have been given detailed guidance on how to monitor and treat patients.

It lists symptoms to look out for and says where sepsis is suspected, antibiotics must be given via a drip.

Hospitals must then perform lab tests to ensure the best type of antibiotic is used.

What are the symptoms?

In adults:

  • slurred speech
  • extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • passing no urine in a day
  • severe breathlessness
  • high heart rate and high or low body temperature
  • skin mottled or discoloured

In children:

  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • abnormally cold to touch
  • breathing very fast
  • a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • a seizure or convulsion

Children under 5 may have sepsis if:

  • they are not feeding
  • they are repeatedly vomiting
  • they have not passed urine in the last 12 hours.

Why not visit the Sepsis Trust website’s Education Tools page, it has video stories, educational films for the public and Health Care Professionals and mush more. Develop your knowledge and awareness here….

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