HEALTH: Watch out for signs of killer illness

RAISING AWARENESS: Farooq Brohi, who is calling for people to be aware of the dangers of sepsis.
RAISING AWARENESS: Farooq Brohi, who is calling for people to be aware of the dangers of sepsis.

HEALTH chiefs are calling on people to watch out for the signs of an illness which claims thousands of lives every year.

Each year in the UK, around 100,000 people are admitted to hospital with sepsis and around 37,000 will die as a result of the condition.

Two thirds of people who get sepsis survive because the illness is recognised and treated quickly. We’re asking people to think sepsis. Farooq Brohi, the trust lead for sepsis at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

More people in the UK die from sepsis every year than die of bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer put together.

A health expert at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is now raising awareness of it.

Consultant anaesthetist and intensivist Farooq Brohi, who is the trust lead for sepsis, said: “It’s vitally important that we as health professionals recognise and treat sepsis as soon as possible.

“It’s also important for the public to recognise the signs because time is everything.”

Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection where the body’s immune system goes into overdrive.

“It sets off a series of reactions including widespread inflammation, swelling and blood clotting.

Early symptoms of sepsis usually develop quickly and can include;

• a fever.

• chills and shivering.

• a fast heartbeat.

• fast breathing.

In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock develop soon after. These can include:

• feeling dizzy or faint.

• confusion or disorientation.

• nausea and vomiting.

• diarrhoea.

• cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin.

Sepsis is a clinical emergency, and requires immediate attention.

Farooq added: “The trust’s sepsis group has held stalls and other information sessions during the week to keep sepsis awareness high among health professionals and the public.

“Two thirds of people who get sepsis survive because the illness is recognised and treated quickly. We’re asking people to think sepsis.

“Health professionals have clearly laid down procedures to follow if sepsis is suspected.

“If members of the public suspect it in a friend or loved one, it’s vital to seek medical attention straightaway. Thinking sepsis saves lives.”

People can find out more about sepsis at;

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Blood-poisoning/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.sepsistrust.org/external_link/survivesepsis-org/

http://www.rcem.ac.uk/Shop-Floor/Clinical%20Standards/Sepsis