Am I right?
The fact that you may not have heard of sepsis makes it all the more important for you to find out all you can about this dreadful illness...which comes about through the most innocent and simple of situations.
Make no mistake, sepsis kills. Efficiently. And quickly. However, sepsis is vulnerable. But you must be ready to fight back. Quickly. Accurately. That is the only way sepsis can be beaten.
I'm no technical or medical expert. All I can do is spread the word of those who understand why and how this awful illness affects so many people.
I have published several posts raising awareness of sepsis. But this is the first one to come directly from a group of nurses dedicated to: "sharing knowledge and experiences to improve practice and care for the patient with sepsis."
So, over now to this post from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, on behalf of UK Sepsis Nurse Forum:
Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.
Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without making us ill. Sometimes though, the body responds abnormally to these infections and causes sepsis.
If you have one symptom from each list, medical help must be sought immediately:
- Early signs of flu-like illness
- Chest infection
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Inability to eat or drink
- S – Slurred speech
- E – Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- P – Passing no urine in a day
- S – Severe breathlessness
- I – I feel like I might die
- S – Skin mottled or discoloured
If you would like to know more, please visit www.sepsistrust.org.
Many hospitals are starting to appoint a sepsis nurse. The role of the sepsis nurse was introduced by Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust. The role can vary between hospitals but listed below are some common duties. A constant driver is pivotal to the success of organisational change.
Education: the sepsis nurse will teach all staff to recognise and manage sepsis urgently.
Audit: the role involves reviewing medical notes and feeding back to the staff what we did we do well, how and where can we improve, and ensuring progress is monitored, measured and publicised.
Public awareness: empowering the public to ask your clinician ‘could this be sepsis?’
Clinical expert: to be a clinical advisor and resource to the staff and public.
Board advisor: ensures the trust boards are aware of what is going on in their organisation with regards to sepsis.
Responder: clinically responds to patients with sepsis.
Coordinator: ensures the sepsis improvement project is a success as opposed to fragmented pockets of work.
As Dr Ron Daniels continues his drive against sepsis across the UK, the role of the sepsis nurse has proliferated. There are now 66 members of the UK Sepsis Nurse Forum and it is on the increase. If you are leading for sepsis in your organisation please contact @uksepsisnurses through their Twitter account.
Other contacts for Sepsis:
UK Sepsis Trust: www.sepsistrust.org and www.twitter.com/uksepsistrust
Dr Ron Daniels, CEO, UK Sepsis Trust: www.twitter.com/SepsisUK