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Sepsis

Sepsis is a medical emergency. It is essential for all staff to recognise the symptoms and know what immediate steps they must take.

When a person gets an infection the body’s immune system responds to fight it. In some cases, the body’s response to this infection over reacts or simply goes into ‘overdrive’ causing it to attack its own tissues and organs. This is known as Sepsis. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock - a medical emergency. Death from Septic shock increases with each hour antibiotics are delayed.

Although anyone can get sepsis, infections such as pneumonia and kidney infections appear more likely to trigger sepsis. Survival rates for sepsis depend on a person’s underlying medical conditions and how quickly it is recognised, diagnosed and managed.

The RCN website contains ‘crib cards’ on how to assess adults in the community for sepsis and what to do if you think a person has sepsis.

NICE guideline (NG51) covers the recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis for all populations.

Sepsis: A guide for patients and relatives - The UK Sepsis Trust

Advice following treatment of an infection   Opens new window

Easy read: what to do after being treated for an infection   Opens new window

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