Sepsis

Sepsis (previously known as blood poisoning or septicaemia) is a very serious medical emergency that can quickly lead to death. In its early stages, sepsis is often difficult to distinguish from ‘flu, especially in young children. So it’s better to be safe than sorry, and seek urgent medical attention if you suspect sepsis.

If you notice any of these symptoms after a recent fever, call 999 immediately and say you suspect sepsis:

• Slurred speech or confusion

• Extreme shivering or muscle pain

• Passing no urine (in 18 hours or a day)

• Severe breathlessness

• Extreme feeling of something being wrong

• Mottled, bluish or very pale skin colour

Remember if it is sepsis, getting treatment even one hour earlier might make the difference between life and death.

Sepsis is the body’s reaction to an infection that causes it to attack its own organs and tissues. If not spotted and treated quickly, sepsis can rapidly result in shock, multiple organ failure and death. The risk of death from sepsis can be five times greater than from a heart attack or stroke. However if caught early, the outlook is good for the vast majority of patients. Consequently it is very important not to delay seeking medical attention.

Further information on sepsis can be obtained from The UK Sepsis Trust or NHS Choices

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