World Sepsis Day
13th September is #WorldSepsisDay, an initiative that takes place each year to raise awareness about sepsis.
Sepsis is a rare complication of an infection, and may be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated in time. It is a medical emergency requiring clinical intervention. With antibiotics and fluids most people will make a full recovery, but left untreated sepsis can cause septic shock, multi-organ failure and death. 1 in 5 deaths worldwide are associated with sepsis.
Although anyone with an infection can get sepsis, it is more likely to occur in vulnerable groups including babies, the elderly, those with compromised immunity, and women during pregnancy and childbirth.
Signs and symptoms to look out for
The World Sepsis Day committee has developed the mnemonic “SEPSIS” as a useful reminder of the signs to look out for:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain/fever
- Passing no urine all day
- Severe breathlessness
- It feels like you are going to die
- Skin mottled or discoloured
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Sepsis in children may present differently, and The UK Sepsis Trust provides the guidance below for spotting sepsis in children, and advises that if any of the signs are spotted you call 999 or go straight to A&E and ask, “could it be sepsis?”
A child may have sepsis if he or she:
- Is breathing very fast
- Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
- Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
- Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- Feels abnormally cold to touch
A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she:
- Is not feeding
- Is vomiting repeatedly
- Has not passed urine for 12 hours
Recognising the signs and symptoms of sepsis is crucial in order to save lives. Further information on sepsis is available on the following websites:
If you or a member of your family have suffered from sepsis due to sub-standard, delayed medical care our team of specialist solicitors can help you to pursue a claim for compensation.