Local residents urged to spot the signs of sepsis

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The NHS in south east Essex is launching a campaign with health and care professionals and the wider public to raise awareness of sepsis, the life-threatening condition which claims thousands of lives a year in the UK.

The campaign is principally aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0-4 and will include a new film featuring a local mum, Sophie, from Leigh-on Sea, whose baby son George was diagnosed with sepsis at the end of last year (2017). Sophie shared her story on a popular Facebook forum called ‘8 out of 10 Mums’ and agreed to join forces with the local NHS to raise awareness of the condition.



Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.

The campaign will focus on the signs and symptoms and will urge parents to get immediate medical assistance if they display any of the following signs:

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Has a fit or convulsion

Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without them making us ill. Sometimes, though, the body responds abnormally to these infections, and causes sepsis.

Matt Rangué, Chief Nurse at Southend Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Sepsis can be a devastating condition, we hope that by raising awareness we will save lives in the fight against this horrible illness. I’d like to thank those who have worked with us to campaign for better awareness of sepsis.”

Sherri Bradshaw, Lead Sepsis Nurse at Southend Hospital said:

“It is important that parents know about sepsis and how serious it can be.  I would definitely advise parents to trust their instincts if they are concerned about their child’s symptoms, especially if their illness seems different to any previous illness they’ve had, or if they are ‘just not right’ (even if their temperature falls).

The more aware parents are, the quicker they can act if they suspect their child may be suffering from sepsis – it could be life-saving.”

Clinical toolkits produced by UK Sepsis Trust the charity designed to help clinicians spot symptoms of the infection have been circulated to GP practices. A range of posters, leaflets and other awareness raising materials will also be made available to health and care professionals and for use in reception areas and waiting rooms. If you would like to learn more about the signs and symptoms of sepsis visit the NHS or Sepsis Trust UK websites for more information: