Update on sepsis- What you need to know

Sepsis is a treatable condition that sadly accounts for 44,000 deaths in the UK every year (learn more here). The condition is so important and immediate treatment so critical that the NHS have targets to be able to recognise and treat Sepsis within one hour. Sadly many NHS Trusts are failing to meet these targets and they have recently been named and shamed by the BBC Panorama programme.

Sespis kills more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. Every year, 150,000 people in the UK develop sepsis with 44,000 of those people dying and it costs the NHS £2.93billion a year.

Survivors are often left with life changing disabilities, like amputated limbs. Even though it is more common than heart attacks, less is known about the diseases – few recognise the symptoms and doctors struggle to diagnose it.













Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition that see’s the body’s immune system over react to an infection; resulting in widespread inflammation, swelling and blood clots. This leads the body to go into septic shock, characterised by a dramatic decrease in blood pressure interrupting the blood supply to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys. Sepsis needs to be treated quickly and aggressively in hospital and is sadly often responsible for amputations, brain damage and deaths.
Recent data from the NHS has shown that sepsis results in 44,000 deaths every year in the UK, 14,000 which were preventable. Moreover, figures from 104 trusts show that only 78% of eligible patients are being screened and 63% are getting antibiotics within one hour. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the NHS has to do “more to do” to stop “preventable” sepsis deaths occurring.

This World Sepsis Day (September 13) the World Health Organisation are concentrating on maternal sepsis, that can occurs during or just after pregnancy and neonatal sepsis, that can occurs in newborns, in order to help prevent the deaths of 35 000 mothers and one million babies worldwide every year.

Sepsis is the most common pathway to death in the world according to the World Health Organisation, despite being highly preventable and Doctors across the globe are urged to take preventative measures and treat suspected cases of sepsis within an hour in attempt to prevent unnecessary deaths. Sepsis – a life-threatening complication of other infections – should be dealt with as an emergency just like a heart attack, according to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

To read more on the dangers of sepsis and how to treat it click here



Written by Emma Hammett for First Aid for Life

It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical or Online First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses.

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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