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By Spencers Solicitors

  Andrea Ribchester-Hodgson    
  November 28, 2017

SEPSIS - The common but little known killer

Sepsis is a stark term the general public is familiar with but is often not fully understood, so what is Sepsis?

Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to infection. It is vital that it is identified and treated in its early stages as it can often have fatal consequences.

Halloween Pumpkins

“Kiss Goodbye to Sepsis”

The UK Sepsis Trust which has a “Kiss Goodbye to Sepsis” campaign in 2017, reports that every year Sepsis results in 44,000 deaths; more than the deaths due to bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined and yet the symptoms of Sepsis are not commonly known.

More worrying than an apparent lack of knowledge around Sepsis within the general public, is undoubtedly the frequent failure of both GPs and Hospital staff to identify and adequately treat the symptoms until it is too late despite a number of national and international campaigns dating back to 2002.

A breakdown of the more common symptoms has been set out as SEPSIS similar to the FAST campaign to identify Strokes and sets out the following warning signs of Sepsis:-

  • Slurred Speech
  • Extreme muscle pain
  • Passing no urine
  • Severe Breathlessness
  • I feel I might die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured

Despite a number of campaigns and the introduction of guidelines, the national press continues to report on tragedies where families have been deprived of a parent or child due to the failure to diagnose Sepsis and commence the most basic of antibiotic treatment or intravenous fluid resuscitation on an urgent basis.

In cases of Sepsis any delay can mean the difference between life and death; with mortality increasing by 7.6% for each hour of delay in administering appropriate antibiotics (Kumar A et al CCM 2006).

The team, here at Spencers, have experience of dealing with the effects of such incidents and have represented patients and their families in complaints involving the NHS at what is a very traumatic time.

We are committed to assisting clients in what is often the most difficult and stressful time of their lives with the aim of, as far as possible, “putting things right”.

We provide free confidential initial advice to anyone with a concern about the treatment provided to them or a member of their family, irrespective of whether or not a claim is ultimately made.


About the Author

Andrea Ribchester-Hodgson is a Solicitors within our Serious Injury Team.

Andrea, who joined the team in 2015, qualified as a Solicitor in 2001. With over 15 years of experience, Andrea specialises in helping people with Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence cases. Andrea deals with claims involving adults and children who have suffered serious and catastrophic injury including fatal injuries. Andrea’s clients also include individuals living with spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, complex pain and multiple orthopaedic injuries.


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