How To Spot The Signs Of Sepsis

9 February 2016
How To Spot Signs Of Sepsis

Actor Jason Watkins and his wife Clara Francis are in the news today, talking about the tragic death of their youngest daughter, Maude, who died on New Year's Day 2011 aged two and a half.

The Mail reports:

"Maude fell victim to sepsis, a condition that claims the lives of 44,000 people in the UK each year, young and old. Sepsis can develop rapidly following even the mildest of infections, such as a tummy bug or sore throat."

It's an absolutely devastating story but it's not the first one to hit the headlines. A one year old boy died from sepsis in 2014 after doctors failed to spot the symptoms in time.

According to the Sepsis Trust, sepsis is a life threatening condition that affects 150,000 people in the UK every year and results in 44,000 deaths - more than those caused by bowel, breast and colon cancer combined. It arises when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs, leading to shock, multiple organ failure and death if not recognized early and treated promptly.

The Sepsis Trust offers this advice on how to spot a possible sepsis infection:

Any child who

1 Feels abnormally cold to the touch
2 Looks mottled, bluish or has very pale skin
3 Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
4 Is breathing very fast
5 Has a 'fit' or convulsion
6 Is very letargic or difficult to wake up

Might be critically ill - if one or more symptom is present, call 999 or see your doctor urgently and say you're worried about sepsis.

Equally, for under-fives, any child who:

1 Is not feeding
2 Is vomiting repeatedly
3 Hasn't had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours

Might have sepsis - the advice is the same - if one or more symptom is present seek urgent medical help and state that you are worried about sepsis.

Jason and Clara are raising money for the Sepsis Trust. You can support their efforts here.

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