Bedfordshire CCG supports World Sepsis Day image by AdobeStock_34280447

Disease kills 52,000 people in the UK every year

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is supporting World Sepsis Day (13 September 2019) by increasing public awareness of a disease that in the UK kills 52,000 people every year.

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is caused when the immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage the body’s own tissues and organs. This can result in life-changing disabilities or even death.

Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti, clinical lead for BCCG, says although sepsis is a potentially life-threatening disease, it can be treated successfully if caught early and the patient receives antibiotics in hospital.

“That is why Bedfordshire CCG is supporting World Sepsis Day on 13 September by publishing important information about the disease on its website, so the public will know what to look out for.”

People often delay seeking medical help for sepsis because the early symptoms can be similar to other less serious conditions. Such as flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.

“There is no ‘red flag’ indicator for sepsis and symptoms can differ in babies and very young children compared with older children and adults.”

Signs of sepsis in adults and older children can include:

  • Very high or low temperature and shivering
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Mottled, bluish or pale skin
  • A rash that does not fade when pressed

Babies and children under five years old who are not feeding, suffer from frequent vomiting or haven’t passed urine for 12 hours could also be displaying symptoms of sepsis.

“Sepsis is a very serious illness and anyone suspecting they or a member of their family may have the disease must seek urgent medical attention.

“Call NHS 111 and don’t be afraid to ask the question, ‘Do you think it’s sepsis?’ If the patient’s condition rapidly worsens, take them to A&E or call 999.”

More information about sepsis including a full list of possible symptoms is available BCCG’s sepsis page.