Trust working hard to raise awareness against killer condition – sepsis

A team of specialist nurses at the Trust is taking the fight in combatting a deadly killer – sepsis. Caused by bacteria that get in to the blood stream, sepsis is a life-threatening condition that accounts for 44,000 deaths annually – or one person every five minutes. In cases of sepsis, the body overreacts to bacteria present in someone’s blood, which can lead to organ failure if not treated quickly.

More people die from sepsis, known previously as septicaemia or blood poisoning, than bowel, breast and prostate cancers put together. Also patients with this condition are five times more likely to die than those experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

The Trust’s sepsis lead nurse, Anne Hunt, explains:

“Sepsis always starts with an infection, which can be viral or bacterial. It occurs when the body over reacts to the infection, causing widespread inflammation and injuring the body’s organs. In its early stages, the symptoms can be hard to distinguish with people often complaining about feeling generally unwell or that they are coming down with something like ‘flu. And whilst in many cases that may be the case, in others their condition deteriorates rapidly and they need urgent medical care.

Above: Sepsis nursing team


Anne continues:

“We are working with our hospital colleagues, especially in the Lister’s emergency
department, to help them always keep the possibility of sepsis at the forefront of their
minds because early diagnosis saves lives.”

The Trust supports the UK Sepsis Trust’s campaign to promote action being taken
for anyone who develops one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in 18 hours or a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Saying that they know that something’s badly wrong with them
  • Skin that is mottled, bluish or very pale

The Trust’s sepsis nursing team is urging local people to take action by calling 999,
reporting the patient’s symptoms and raising the possibility that it might be sepsis.
Caught early, the outlook is good for the vast majority of patients – but delaying
seeking help, even by just a few hours, can make it much harder to treat and reduces
the chances of survival considerably.

Click here to read Bill Kearney’s story. Bill experienced a near fatal brush with sepsis in February 2017 and was given the all clear by doctors back in March.