Sepsis is frighteningly common. We see 102,000 cases every year. 37,000 people a year die from sepsis every year in the United Kingdom. This is not about complex, expensive therapies, but about recognition and doing the basics. That’s what the Sepsis toolkits are all about. If we do the basics, if we get this right, we can save at least 12,500 people’s lives every year.
Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the Sepsis Trust, tells his story:
Change day for me occurred back in 2005 when the death of a young strong man from Sepsis following a simple procedure led to my having to tell his wife and children that he wouldn’t be coming home. His name was Jem.
I was a young consultant anaesthetist at the time, and had been faced with many scenarios of patients I felt should have been prevented from such acute deterioration if they had had Sepsis identified and treated early.
I was determined to make a difference and engaged other professionals and relatives with the sole purpose of changing the way the NHS deals with Sepsis, and from this, the UK Sepsis Trust was formed in March 2012.
Prior to the formal development of the charity and following support from the Department of Health a small scale study / project was performed which led to the development of the first sepsis nurse practitioners and the development of the Sepsis 6 which identified simple mechanisms of suspecting sepsis with 6 simple steps to treat early.
Since then much work has been achieved bringing professional, public and government bodies together to change the way Sepsis is dealt with within the NHS, including pre-hospital and acute hospital care.
Change is occurring; but it’s not enough. Systems still aren’t effective for early identification and treatment to be making a clear and tangible difference across the NHS. 102,000 cases and 37,000 deaths are still occurring in the UK every year from Sepsis, more than bowel and breast cancer combined.
The UK Sepsis Trust receives calls and emails every day, newspaper articles highlighting that deaths from Sepsis are still at the forefront, calls of the 2 month baby, the pregnant woman, the 19 year old university student, the 40 year old father of a 3 year old through to the 82 year old fit and healthy person dying from Sepsis. The difficult part is knowing that with appropriate systems in place, most of these are preventable deaths.
The cost isn’t just personal, Sepsis accounts for 100,000 hospital admissions each year, with an average cost of about £20,000 each.
As a result of these system failures identified and highlighted by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the UK Sepsis Trust has developed tool-kits to help all areas of health care implement systems for the awareness, early identification and treatment of Sepsis.
We would like every single health care organisation throughout the whole system to identify key personnel to use these tool-kits and make a start to changing the way their ward, their GP surgery, their ambulance base, their A and E department and a whole host of other areas integrate Sepsis awareness, early identification and treatment into everyday services. This will ensure Sepsis is classed as an emergency and requires prompt treatment in the right place at the right time with the right skilled people.
This campaign is in partnership with the Sepsis Trust.
- Tweet that you’re backing the #SepsisToolkit campaign
- Download and read the toolkit: go to this page to download the Sepsis toolkits
- Implement it at your level in your organisation, and share it across the whole organisation
Watch more from Ron Daniels: