A Walsall team will use the upcoming World Sepsis Day to raise awareness of this life-threatening condition among patients, families and carers as well as NHS colleagues.
The Sepsis and Outreach Response Team (SORT) will share survivors’ stories and highlight the efforts of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust staff around detection and early intervention.
World Sepsis Day falls on Wednesday 13 September and is supported by the UK Sepsis Trust.
Sepsis affects 245,000 people every year in the UK alone, and 48,000 people die of sepsis-related illnesses. Of those that develop sepsis and survive, around 40% face potentially life-changing challenges with their physical and/or mental health.
It is also a bigger cause of deaths in the UK than heart attacks.
Amy Blakemore is Senior Sister in SORT.
She said: “Sepsis happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage internal organs. Anyone can get sepsis, but some people are more likely to get an infection that could lead to sepsis, including babies, immunocompromised patients, people over 75 or who have recently had surgery or a serious illness, and women who have just given birth.
“Symptoms can be vague and are often assumed to be flu. We have a Sepsis Six care bundle, or checklist put simply, which has been shown to reduce the relative risk of death by 46.6 per cent when delivered to patients with severe sepsis within one hour.
“We will use World Sepsis Day to remind our own colleagues of its importance, celebrate and acknowledge our sepsis champions in Walsall and educate the public to be aware of potential symptoms.
“Our team sees critically ill patients in multi-organ failure and our collective aim is to detect patients as early as possible earlier and hopefully help avoid an admission into the Intensive Care Unit.
Alongside Amy, the SORT team comprises Jeanette Roberts, Laura Hu, Rebecca Clay and Helen Halsall.
The team is alerted to a suspected sepsis case when a patient is flagged on the Trust’s patient clinical monitoring system (VitalPAC), prompting appropriate, timely treatment. Among patients recently treated was Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden who told her story in HELLO! Magazine here