World Sepsis Day: Signs of life-threatening condition you need to look out for

With World Sepsis Day around the corner, here are the signs and symptoms you need to be aware of.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

World Sepsis Day (September 13) is just around the corner, making it a perfect time to raise awareness of the symptoms you need to be aware of. The life-threatening condition kills five people in the UK every hour, but this can be prevented if caught early enough.

What is Sepsis?

Contrary to popular belief, sepsis isn’t a disease, but rather the way our body responds to an infection. It can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or underlying health condition.

When someone becomes septic as a result of an infection, urgent treatment is required. The condition most commonly occurs when our body’s immune system reacts aggressively to an infection.

The reaction means the immune system goes into overdrive to try and fight the infection. This can start to shut down organs, reducing blood and oxygen supply to the limbs to try and protect the heart and brain.

Septic shock happens if sepsis isn’t treated quickly. This can lead to multi-organ failure, limb loss and sometimes death.

What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis?

The UK Sepsis Trust has set out the following signs to look out for. You should seek urgent medical attention if any of these develop:

  • Slurred speech or confusion

  • Extreme Shivering or muscle pain

  • Passing no urine (in a day)

  • Severe breathlessness

  • It feels like you are going to die

  • Skin mottled or discoloured

There could be different signs in children. You should look out for:

  • Fast breathing

  • Having a fit or convulsion

  • A mottled, bluish or pale look

  • A rash that doesn't’ fade when pressed

  • Lethargic and difficult to wake

  • Abnormally cold to touch

  • Recently vomited, aren’t feeding or haven’t passed urine for 12 hours

Related topics: