The importance of spotting sepsis

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An award-winning team is raising awareness of an illness which affects thousands of people.

Charge nurse Brian Stothart and health care assistant Tracy Birbeck - from the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s elective care unit (ward 4)- have put up a display to educate people about the importance of spotting sepsis.

I families know about it they can be on the look-out and very possibly save their loved one’s life by taking action quickly. Sepsis can happen in hospital and at home so all we’re trying to do is tell people about it so they know the warning signs

Charge nurse Brian Stothart

The team won the Hartlepool Mail Best of Health Awards hospital team of the year title this year and Brian said: “Tracy and I, and everyone on our ward, think it’s vital to draw people’s attention to an illness which results in 100,000 people being admitted to hospital each year. If it’s spotted and treated quickly then the outcome is good but it can be masked by other symptoms so it’s vital people know about it.”

Early symptoms include a high temperature; chills and shivering; a fast heartbeat; fast breathing. In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock (when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level) develop soon after. These can include feeling dizzy or faint; confusion or disorientation; nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin.

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