A positive step forward in the diagnosis of Sepsis

Sepsis is a form of blood poisoning, where the immune system overreacts to an infection or injury and attacks the bodies own organs and tissue. With early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics but delays in treatment can result in organ failure and death.

Five people are killed every hour by sepsis in the UK, making it the leading cause of avoidable death. The risk of fatality increases by 7% with every 30 minutes that treatment is delayed. The opportunity to diagnose and commence treatment as early as possible is critical.

In a bid to reduce fatalities, the NHS has been trialling ‘alert and action’ technology at hospitals in Cambridge, Liverpool and Berkshire, the results of which have been positive. In fact, following the introduction of this technology, the numbers of sepsis fatalities have decreased.

The digital system takes into consideration lab results, patient observations and vital signs. An alert message is sent to clinicians if there is a deterioration in the patient’s condition which could indicate sepsis.

It is positive to note that as a result of these trials, the NHS has commenced plans to roll the technology out throughout England as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Regarding the sepsis trials, Lauren Rhodes, Medical Negligence Solicitor commented:

“The ‘alert and action’ technology is a positive step forward. Clinicians are alerted to subtle deteriorations quickly that may otherwise have gone unnoticed or taken longer to recognise. Implementing early treatment is critical and will reduce fatalities and the life changing injuries often caused by sepsis”.

Information regarding the signs and symptoms of sepsis can be found here . If you or a loved one are concerned, it is vital that you seek immediate medical attention.

If you or a family member have been effected by the missed diagnosis of sepsis, contact our Medical Negligence solicitors today on 0161 615 5554, by email to info@psg-law.co.uk or by visiting our Altrincham offices.

How to spot sepsis in adults

Adults should seek urgent medical attention if they have any of the follow symptoms:

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

25,000 children are affected by sepsis each year in the UK. Urgent medical attention should be sought if children display any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent fever
  • Low temperature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fits or convulsions
  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Has a rash that does not fade when pressed
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch