Sepsis champions highlight signs of deadly infection

Staff and patients at hospitals in Basildon, Southend and Chelmsford will be supporting World Sepsis Day on Monday (September 13) by highlighting the dangers of the blood infection.

Sepsis happens when the immune system attacks the body as a response to an infection or an injury, and if unchecked can rapidly lead to organ failure or death.

The awareness day is held to remind people of the dangers of sepsis, sometimes known as blood poisoning, and highlights how to diagnose the infection and how it can be treated.

Sepsis kills up to 50 million people around the world every year,

Now sepsis champions at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust are raising awareness of the condition.

Across Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals there are more than one hundred dedicated sepsis champions. These doctors and nurses have had specialist training in spotting the first signs of the infection and making sure treatment is given as quickly as possible. They also offer education and training to staff, patients and relatives.

Sandra Mathews, a sepsis champion at Southend Hospital, said: “We all have the ability to make a difference for someone with sepsis, and it can be easily treated if caught early enough. It is so important for all staff, patients and relatives to be aware of the early warning signs. Armed with that vital information, we can all help prevent it, spot it, treat it and beat it.

“Sepsis can often be confused with other conditions in its early stages, and every delay seeking treatment increases the chance of death.”

Sepsis signs to look out for are:

  • slurred speech
  • confusion
  • shivering
  • muscle pain
  • fever
  • not passing urine all day
  • mottled or discoloured skin
  • feeling like you are going to die.

Having sepsis can lead to the loss off fingers or toes, limbs, poor memory, a lack of concentration or post-traumatic stress disorder which can last for years.

Basic treatment for sepsis is antibiotics, but World Sepsis Day focuses on prevention by making sure people have access to clean healthcare, clean water and above all awareness of the signs of sepsis.

If you suspect you or a loved one of having sepsis, you should call NHS 111.


Mick Ferris

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