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By Spencers Solicitors

  Amy Smitheringale    
  August 9, 2022

World Sepsis Day 2022 : How Dangerous is Sepsis?

World Sepsis Day takes place annually on September 13th to help ensure that awareness about Sepsis is kept very much at the forefront of people’s minds. The UK Sepsis Trust does some excellent work in raising awareness of this life-threatening condition too. However, it also exists to be a spearhead in the fight against Sepsis.

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, 245,000 people in this country alone, are affected by Sepsis. It is responsible for the deaths of around 48,000 people every year in the UK. When that is expressed as approximately 132 people dying from Sepsis-related illnesses every day, then the size of the problem becomes even more worrying and startling.

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What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is also referred to as Septicaemia or Blood Poisoning.

Sepsis is a medical condition that occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to an infection. Major swelling spreads throughout the body. This inflammation, combined with blood clotting, reduces the blood flow of an affected patient. Sepsis moves fast and can very quickly (within hours) cause organ failure and death, in the worst of cases.

Who is at risk of Sepsis?

Anyone can get Sepsis, but those most at risk from the damagers of sepsis are:

  • The elderly (over 65)
  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with pre-existing conditions (diabetes, kidney disease, lung conditions or cancer)
  • Hospital patients
  • People who have weak immune systems
  • Patients using catheters or breathing tubes
  • Patients with severe burns or large wounds.

What are the symptoms of Sepsis?

A breakdown of the more common symptoms has been set out for SEPSIS in the same way that the FAST campaign is used to identify the symptoms of Strokes.

This sets out the following warning signs of Sepsis in the form of a mnemonic:-

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

If you spot any of these symptoms call 999 OR go straight to A&E.

What is the treatment for Sepsis?

As Sepsis is an illness that deteriorates astonishingly quickly, the best form of treatment begins with early recognition of the symptoms of Sepsis. This is achievable using antibiotics. It also gives the best chance of making a full and lasting recovery from the illness with no lasting side effects.

Raising awareness of Sepsis

Despite the number of new cases that happen each year and the number of fatalities from Sepsis, it is still an illness that many people have never heard of.

Of those who have heard of it, there are many who know little or nothing about what Sepsis is, how prevalent it is, how relatively easily it can occur or how easily it could be prevented.

  • Lack of knowledge means that in some cases the symptoms of Sepsis are not being recognised and may be mistaken for other ailments, by the loved ones of those in the early stage of the illness.
  • Lack of knowledge means that people are not aware of the fact that Sepsis can be prevented by clean care and vaccination. (Immunisation can be targeted at certain viruses that commonly cause Sepsis)
  • Lack of knowledge is the reason that Sepsis kills more than many cancers combined in this country.

Raising awareness and education about an illness that has been labelled the ‘silent killer', will lead to less instances of Sepsis and less deaths from it. That is why World Sepsis Day is so important.

Find out more about Sepsis here.

Amy Smitheringale

About the Author

Amy has been with Spencers for 21 years. She qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2001 and as a Solicitor in 2007. Having joined the business as a file handler in 2000, Amy has developed a strong specialism in personal injury litigation built on practical experience of both file handling and management.

Amy became a Team Manager in 2008, and managed and developed a team of litigators dealing with motor personal injury, Employers Liability, Public Liability and Criminal Injury claims. Amy now manages the Complex Injury Team which deals with serious and major injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, fatal claims and clinical negligence.

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