Sepsis campaign launched in the UK

A campaign is underway to warn people about one of the UK’s biggest killers – and the source of thousands of medical negligence claims – sepsis.

Sepsis (also known as septicaemia) is when the body’s immune system is overwhelmed by an infection, causing complications including body-wide inflammation and blood clots.

Around 44,000 UK deaths each year are due to sepsis, which means it outranks heart attacks and some cancers. Even if you survive, the side-effects can leave you needing intensive long-term support.

A film called “Starfish” has been made showing the horrific case of Midlands man Tom Ray. Getting a small cut on his gum at his dentists led to sepsis, which in turn resulted in him losing all his limbs and a large part of his face.

Sepsis – which in some cases can be preventable – usually originates from a common illness or a simple cut or insect bite. It can strike quickly, particularly in children and babies under the age of 4 years and can easily be mistaken for flu, chest infections or diarrhoea. This means the potential for misdiagnosis compensation claims is substantial.

Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust are working together to improve measures in the NHS to reduce the risks by improving clinical practice. Measures are also being put into place to ensure the symptoms are spotted sooner.

As sepsis is most prevalent in the vulnerable, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of the early symptoms among parents, care home staff and anyone else who looks after the elderly and/or young children.

Cancer and HIV/AIDs patients, and anyone who has undergone an organ transplant, are also considered to be “at-risk” and should be carefully monitored.

GP surgeries and hospitals throughout the UK are to distribute millions of leaflets highlighting what to look out for, including a rash, slurred speech, mottled or bluish skin, fits or convulsions, lethargy and difficulty in waking, coldness to touch and rapid breathing.

Anyone who is considering making a claim for compensation arising from a sepsis case – either to cover rehabilitation or the financial impact of bereavement – should contact us ( today.