According to recent NHS statistics, although figures vary, around 100,000 people are admitted to hospital with sepsis in the UK each year – and around 37,000 of those die from the condition.
A recent article in the Lancet put global figures for 2017 at an estimated 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis-related deaths. Of those who survive, 40% will suffer permanent, life-changing after effects.
That was before the impact of Covid-19 on peoples’ health, and of course on our health system, which now finds itself battling a backlog of cases where people have missed out on vital tests, assessments and treatment.
According to The UK Sepsis Trust, Covid-19 itself can also cause sepsis.
It recently issued a stark warning, saying it believes around 20,000 people who have survived Covid-19 and been discharged from hospital are likely to develop sepsis within 12 months. That is a figure which is hugely worrying – and potentially life threatening for many.
It has called on the UK Government to lead an awareness campaign about Sepsis – which kills more people a year than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined – to make it an immediate consideration when anybody becomes unexpectedly, and suddenly ill.
It says a simple awareness campaign, using its own recent ‘Just Ask: Could it be Sepsis?’ message, could not only save the NHS thousands in treatment costs, but more importantly could save thousands of lives. Sepsis – a killer we see missed by many on a day to day basis
It is a killer that is repeatedly missed by many, and sadly that often extends beyond families to GPs and hospital doctors and nurses, who simply don’t spot the signs early enough and take appropriate medical steps.
This is because patients diagnosed with sepsis and treated within the first hour have an 80% chance of surviving, but after six hours without treatment, those chances of survival can reduce to as little as 30%.
Sepsis occurs through aggressive infections, or when people have a weakened immune system.
It spreads extremely quickly to other areas of the body, causing the immune system to react. Oxygen levels in the blood supply can decrease and be prevented from reaching vital organs, causing blood pressure to drop and septic shock.
The very young, very old, diabetics, pregnant women and those who have recently given birth are at increased risk, whilst people are more likely to develop sepsis after a viral illness like a cold, or a minor injury.
This last 18 months where we have all become hugely aware of a new killer in our community and on our hospital wards, we mustn’t lose sight of the danger sepsis poses to us all, as it can quickly develop from the most minor illness or injury.
Not floundering. That is an exaggeration. Price is holding. If the news is a positive progress report then that's fine for me. We will then move to the next leg up. Some are expecting fireworks and have get rich in a day mentality. It is all about managing expectations.