Spotlight on sepsis at West Suffolk Hospital awareness day

Laura and Vicky from the critical care outreach team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust raising awareness of sepsis
Laura and Vicky from the critical care outreach team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust raising awareness of sepsis

An awareness and fund-raising event about sepsis has been held at West Suffolk Hospital.

Members of the Bury St Edmunds hospital’s critical care outreach team spent a day speaking to clinical staff about the risks of sepsis – a life-threatening condition – and how they could improve patient safety.

Sepsis can look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection and is the result of a serious complication of any infection. Also known as blood poisoning, sepsis is the reaction to an infection when the body attacks its own organs. Sepsis can be treated easily if it is diagnosed early.

During the hospital awareness day, trained ‘sepsis champions’ gave out leaflets, organised an information stand and held a cake sale which raised more than £100 for the UK Sepsis Trust.

Laura Cardy, sepsis lead for the hospital’s critical care outreach team, said: “It’s so important to raise awareness of sepsis: it kills at least 44,000 people a year in the UK, which equates to one life every 3.5 seconds. This is more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

“We don’t just focus on sepsis once a year, we have been delivering targeted sepsis teaching to all levels of clinical staff since 2011.”

From April to June, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s screening of sepsis in emergency departments was 99 per cent and for inpatients it was 94 per cent, with the national standard being 90 per cent.

Early symptoms in older children and adults may include fever or low body temperature, chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and/or fast breathing. Visit www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-poisoning for more information.