The dangers of Sepsis

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, 5 people die with sepsis every hour in the UK and one in five deaths around the world are caused by sepsis, also known as blood poisoning.

It is also estimated that 11 million people a year are dying from sepsis – more than are killed by cancer.

These are terrifying figures, but would you know how to recognise the symptoms?

What is sepsis?

Sepsis (sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning) is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection but sometimes, for reasons we do not yet fully understand it attacks our organs and tissues and if not rapidly treated can lead to death.

This sounds dire, but if recognised early enough and treated with antibiotics patients can recover although some may be left with permanent life-changing after effects.

How is sepsis caused?

You cannot catch sepsis from another person and most cases are caused by common bacteria, which normally don’t make us ill.  A huge variety of different germs, like e-coli, streptococcus, MRSA or C diff can cause sepsis.

Sepsis can happen as a result to any injury or infection, anywhere in the body.  Some of these may be as a result of:

  • an infected cut or bite
  • a wound (sometimes post surgery)
  • a leg ulcer or cellulitis
  • a urine infection in the bladder
  • a chest infection (pneumonia)
  • a burst ulcer or a hole in the bowel

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, but here is a how to spot sepsis in an adult according to the UK Sepsis Trust:

Slurred speech or confusion

Extreme shivering or muscle pain

Passing no urine in a day

Severe breathlessness

It feels like your’re going to die

Skin mottled or discoloured

If you or another adult has one or more of these symptoms then medical help must be sought urgently as the quicker it is treated, the better the outcome.

For information on treatment and recovery visit the NHS and for further help and support with sepsis visit the UK Sepsis Trust. You can also find out more about Sepsis here and here 

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24th Jan 2020
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Lost my Mum nearly 35 years ago to septicaemia. Taken Ill and died in under 24 hours! She was only 40 and I was 18 at the time. My sister was only 16.

This condition takes no prisoners. If you are cut, bitten or have any other injury that breaks the skin, 1 Make sure it is clean, 2 Keep it clean, 3 If it starts to swell, gets hot and Red..... seek medical advice straight away.

35 years and I still miss my mum. The worst pain you will ever feel is loss!!
24th Jan 2020
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Thank you for adding me to Silver Surfers x
23rd Jan 2020
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Thank you for letting me join in,
17th Jan 2020
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