Local NHS supports World Sepsis Awareness Day

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Every year there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in 44,000 deaths which are more than deaths from bowel, prostate and breast cancer combined. You’re also five times more likely to suffer from sepsis than a heart attack or stroke. Anyone is at risk of getting sepsis, but young children aged 0-4 are particularly at risk.

This is why NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group are supporting World Sepsis Awareness Day. Initiated by the Global Sepsis Alliance, World Sepsis Day (13 September) aims to raise awareness of sepsis and reduce sepsis incidences by 20% in 2020.

Sepsis is a life threatening emergency that is caused by the body’s response to an infection that becomes systemic, injuring its own tissues and organs. If not recognised early and treated promptly, sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and even death. In cases of sepsis, every hour that treatment is delayed the chance of death increases.

An untreated infection may spread to the kidney, causing more pain and illness and can also cause sepsis so good hydration and catheter care make a real difference to prevention.

Millions of people around the world get the flu and after the virus runs its course, they get better. However, influenza is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, which itself is a common trigger for sepsis. If you know someone who has the flu, watch closely for any symptoms that may indicate that they are getting worse instead of better. Therefore it’s prudent to ensure vaccinations are had as early as possible as a prevention measure.

Some groups of people are more at risk of developing sepsis such as:

The very young or very old;

  • People with a medical condition or receiving medical treatment that weakens their immune system;
  • People who are already in hospital with a serious illness;
  • People who have just had surgery or who have wounds or injuries as a result of an accident.

Anyone with an infection who starts to feel unwell with any of the following signs should seek medical advice urgently by calling NHS 111 or 999 only in an emergency:

  • Slurred speech or confusion;
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain;
  • Passing no urine (in a day);
  • Severe breathlessness;
  • It feels like you're going to die;
  • Skin mottled or discoloured.

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse for NHS Southend and NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

"Sepsis can affect anyone at any age. Early recognition is crucial - for every hour that someone with sepsis is left untreated, the chances of survival reduce significantly. It is a very serious medical condition that presents a considerable diagnostic challenge to emergency departments and intensive care clinicians.”

For more information about sepsis go to: