South West Lincolnshire CCG is supporting World Sepsis Day, Thursday 13 September 2018, to raise awareness of the condition and the signs to look out for.
Sepsis is a condition caused by your body’s immune system responding abnormally to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. The infection can start anywhere in your body; it may be only in one part, or it may be widespread.
Your immune system usually works to fight any germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi), or to prevent infection. However, for reasons we don’t fully understand, sometimes the immune system goes into overdrive and starts to attack our organs and other tissues. It can happen as a response to any injury or infection anywhere in the body and can result from:
a chest infection causing pneumonia
a urine infection in the bladder
a problem in the abdomen, such as a burst ulcer or a hole in the bowel
an infected cut or bite
a wound from trauma or surgery
a leg ulcer or cellulitis
Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different germs, like streptococcus, e-coli, MRSA or C diff. Most cases are caused by common bacteria, which normally don’t make us ill.
Dr Dave Baker, GP and Chair, South West Lincolnshire CCG said:
“Some of the symptoms of Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one single sign and symptoms present differently in adults and children. If you or someone you know or care for shows any of the signs associated with Sepsis, you should seek medical assistance urgently whether that be through a GP practice or by calling NHS 111.”
You should seek medical help urgently if you (or another adult) develop any of these signs:
- 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
If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), call NHS 111 and just ask: could it be sepsis?
A child may have sepsis if he or she:
Is breathing very fast
Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
Feels abnormally cold to touch
A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she:
Is not feeding
Is vomiting repeatedly
Has not passed urine for 12 hours
In the UK 25,000 children are affected by sepsis each year, a quarter of all sepsis survivors suffer permanent, life-changing after effects and five people are killed by sepsis every hour in the UK.