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13 September 2017

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

By Gemma Coleman

Sepsis, which is also referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia, can affect a person of any age and can strike irrespective of underlying good health. Mortality rates by sepsis amount to more than bowel, breast and colon cancer combined each year.

The UK Sepsis Trust is campaigning to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis. Groups of individuals are dedicating their time and energy to organise events and activities and NHS staff are devoted to helping those suffering with this horrific infection. On a personal note, my family are so grateful for the support and care they have received following the death of my cousin who fiercely fought a battle with sepsis earlier this year. 

It is imperative that sepsis is identified and treated as early as possible. For this to happen, people need to be aware of its symptoms and seek medical help as soon as possible.    

Symptoms include:

Slurred Speech

Extremely painful muscles

Passing no urine (in a day)

Severe breathlessness

"I feel like I might die"

Skin mottled or discoloured


Mortality from sepsis increases 7.6% for every hour that treatment is delayed, and experts believe that timely treatment could save more than 14000 lives annually.    

An independent study by the York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) , commissioned by the UK Sepsis Trust, identified that deaths and long term complications due to delayed diagnosis and treatment in sepsis patients could cost up to £15.6 billion every year, rather than the previous estimate in the region of £2.5 billion. 

Paul Jackson, Ideagen’s Clinical Product Manager, said: “A recent study shows that Sepsis affects around 260 000 people every year, taking 44 000 lives in the UK.

 “Sepsis is treatable if sourced early enough but the reason that there are so many deaths is that infections are not being identified or responded to quickly enough. A high percentage of trusts and departments in the UK use paper and manual methods for their sepsis assessments which have no automatic triggers and no guarantees that the six steps of the Sepsis Six care bundle are being followed or completed.”

New NHS regulations for the healthcare industry demand effective screening of Systematic Inflammatory Response System (SIRS), which is effectively a pre-cursor to Sepsis.

Speaking toIdeagen last year following the release of our PatientFirst product to help tackle sepsis death rates in the UK, Dr Ron Daniels (BEM), chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said: “It is absolutely vital we continue in our drive to reduce unnecessary deaths from sepsis.

“Electronic decision aids, automated prompts, and the use of informatics solutions to guide more effective treatment plays an absolutely pivotal role, and the work carried out by organisations such as Ideagen is key to reducing these statistics.”

For more information about Ideagen’s Emergency Department Management Software Click Here 

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