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 hosted an event in the atrium at The James Cook University Hospital on International World Sepsis Day (12 September 2014) to raise awareness about this life-threatening condition.
Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon was among those supporting the event.
“The James Cook University Hospital is a world class facility and one of the reasons for that is that the trust is never complacent and is constantly looking for ways to improve,” he said.
“Sepsis is a subject that is being taken very seriously. Critical care staff are on a crusade to highlight this very important topic and I’m doing everything I can to support their cause.”
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.
Brendan McCarron, chief of service for integrated medical care at the trust said: “Sepsis accounts for 37,000 deaths annually in the UK. That’s more than bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer put together. Teams at South Tees are working hard to raise the profile of sepsis and promote early recognition and management.”
Earlier this month 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.
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.”