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We’ve been praised for our improvements in identifying and treating sepsis

Sepsis awareness in children animation

We’ve been praised as being one of the most improved trusts in the country in how quickly our staff identify and treat sepsis.

A rare but serious condition, sepsis is a complication of an infection and without quick treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

We received a letter from Celia Ingham Clark, Medical Director for Clinical Effectiveness at NHS England, praising the hard work of all our staff to ensure they are identifying and treating sepsis in patients more quickly and effectively.

She said: “I would like to congratulate you for all the hard work and dedication you have shown, which has enabled these improvements in sepsis recognition and treatment to take place.”

REAct to Sepsis – Recognise, Escalate, Act - was introduced by our Paediatric Emergency Department (ED) Consultant, Sylvester Gomes, in the children’s ED. It is used to train staff how to diagnose and treat sepsis, which is particularly challenging to spot in children.

REAct, which has proved such a success we were asked to present on it at the 2017 Sepsis Conference, has also been rolled out to all our clinical staff, who receive annual training. To ensure all training is up-to-date, there 114 sepsis trainers across the Trust.

Sepsis trolleys and kit boxes have also been introduced to wards and departments at both hospitals, containing the equipment needed to treat the condition in one easily accessible place, a Sepsis Steering Group was set up and a number of awareness days have been held. We even made short animated films to help people identify sepsis in adults and children (pictured).

Magda Smith, Associate Medical Director and Trust Sepsis Lead, said: “It’s really encouraging that the hard work and dedication of our staff in improving our processes around sepsis has been recognised.

“We still have more to do and our Sepsis Steering Group will continue to look at ways to make our processes even more effective. Sepsis is very treatable but diagnosing it early is key, so it’s vital we make sepsis everybody’s business, ensuring all staff are trained and aware of how to spot it and treat it.”

Spotting and acting on sepsis:

In adults, you should seek urgent medical help if you develop any of the following:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured.

In babies and children under five:

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Has a fit or convulsion.

You should dial 999 or go straight to the Emergency Department (ED) if your child has any of these signs.

Sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies. If you think you have one of these conditions, go straight to the ED or call 999. 

More information can be found on NHS Choices, www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/, and the UK Sepsis Trust website.

 

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