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Sepsis campaign hits hospital wards

To celebrate World Sepsis Day on Thursday 13 September the patient safety team were out in force raising awareness throughout the Trust.  As well as hosting information stands giving leaflets to staff and members of the public about how sepsis can be spotted, the team held events across the Trust to raise awareness. The teams took ‘trolley dashes’ around the wards with videos and a quiz and held mini-teaching sessions.

They have also produced new pocket cards with a reminder of the Sepsis 6 warning signs, which were given out to frontline staff.  Dr Gemma Williams is the Clinical Leadership Fellow in Sepsis for the Trust.  Gemma has been working with the patient safety team since August and her role for this year focuses predominantly on sepsis.

Gemma explained: “Sepsis is a condition where the body is fighting an infection such as a chest infection or a urinary tract infection, but then the body starts attacking itself as a result of an overreaction to this infection.  When this attack starts shutting organs down this is known as severe sepsis which can progress to septic shock.

“We know that roughly 150,000 patients per year are admitted to hospital in the UK with sepsis and roughly 44,000 people sadly die because of problems related to sepsis. The treatment of sepsis is mainly with antibiotics and fluids and the earlier these can be given to patients the better their chances of recovery.

“Ideally, this treatment should be given within 60 minutes of patients arriving in the hospital if they have sepsis or if patients are already inpatients, within 60 minutes of it being identified.”

Early symptoms of sepsis may include:

  • a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • a fast heartbeat
  • fast breathing
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