Critical care staff at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are continuing to step up their fight against sepsis, which claims 37,000 lives in the UK every year.
Staff are hosting an event in the atrium at The James Cook University Hospital on Friday (12 September) – International World Sepsis Day – to raise awareness about this life-threatening condition.
Earlier this month (2 September), the trust supported clinical staff to attend the Parliamentary reception for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on sepsis to lobby MPs and gain further national support.
This prompted the Royal College of Physicians and NHS England to issue a patient safety alert to support the prompt recognition of sepsis and the rapid initiation of treatment.
To further increase public awareness, a team from South Tees took part in the Great North Run raising more than £5,000 for the UK Sepsis Trust.
Despite advances in modern medicine sepsis remains the biggest cause of death from infection – every few seconds, someone in the world dies of sepsis and death rates in the UK are more than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer put together!
Nurse consultant of critical care services Lindsay Garcia said: “Early identification and treatment is key. As soon as a member of staff suspects infection or the patient is acutely unwell they have to screen for sepsis.
“Sepsis is a medical emergency and it’s crucial that the public and healthcare professionals recognise the symptoms and access treatment straight away.
“For every hour delayed giving antibiotics the patient survival rate decreases by around 7% but rapid intervention can reduce the risk of death by as much as 50% which is why we are trying to raise awareness of this disease.”
Staff will be in the atrium from 10am to 4pm.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if it’s not treated quickly.
Signs and symptoms
If you feel ‘severely sick’, ‘that something is wrong’, or ‘you are not yourself’, and you have a suspected/diagnosed infection or you show any of the following symptoms, you should suspect sepsis:
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and chills
- Confusion and lethargy
Signs of worsening organ function such as:
- Difficult or rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Low urine output