Doctors have been advised to start treating Sepsis in the same way that they treat heart attacks, after it was revealed that 44,000 people die from sepsis annually.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also revealed that more than a third of the 150,000 cases of sepsis seen each year are delayed in diagnosis. It are these facts that are the most harrowing and NICE have reacted by releasing new guidelines, insisting that GPS send any patients who are suspected of suffering sepsis, straight to hospital in an ambulance.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis or Scepticema, as it is also commonly known is blood poisoning that occurs when your body’s immune system is fighting infection. The most common symptoms of sepsis to look out for are accelerated heart rate and breathing, low blood pressure, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting. All of which develop quickly and can leave the victim turning very ill in a short space of time in a similar way that a heart attack can.
Delayed diagnosis of sepsis can prove fatal due to how quickly the symptoms can deteriorate and failure to react in a fast and adequate way by the medical professional, whether it is your GP or the doctors and nurses in the hospital is almost certainly negligent.
It is hoped that the new guidelines can reduce these delays and more importantly reduce the number of deaths because of the illness.
Chairman of the group who developed the new NICE headlines, Saul Faust, outlined the importance of the action, saying: “Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose with certainty. We want clinicians to start asking ‘could this be sepsis?’ much earlier on so they can rule it out or get people the treatment they need.
Just like most people with chest pains are not having a heart attack, the majority of people with an infection ill not have sepsis. But if it isn’t considered, the diagnosis can be missed.”
The battle to warn more people about the disease’s potential and its serious nature has become a priority for many across the country, none more so that one Cornish lottery millionaire who is helping to pay for warning leaflets to be printed in memory of baby William Mead, who sadly from the condition in 2014, at just 12 months old.
His kind gesture to foot the £6,000 bill for the leaflets came in response to a social media request put out by William’s mother, who has extended her gratitude towards the Truro based millionaire.
Since her son’s tragic death, Melissa Mead has dedicated her time towards trying to help spread the word about the risks of sepsis, to try and ensure that similar tragedies can be avoided and the advisement by NICE towards doctors, will come as a welcome boost to her campaign.
Following the announcement, Mrs Mead told The Guardian: “The awareness of sepsis amongst health professionals and the public is severely lacking, so joined-up thinking and action is necessary to drive down the number of fatalities from sepsis. After all, if I had been aware of it and those clinicians that treated William were ‘thinking sepsis’ he would more than likely be alive today.”