Deborah Sleightholme is a Consultant Lawyer here at Hugh James. On World Sepsis Day, she explains why we are working with the UK Sepsis Trust to raise awareness of the condition and educate people to help save lives.
Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It can be hard to spot. If you think that you or someone you look after has symptoms of sepsis, you should immediately call 999 or go to A&E.
Today, 13 September 2021, marks the 10th anniversary of World Sepsis Day and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis. The UK Sepsis Trust are running their ‘Sepsis savvy’ campaign, which urges businesses to become ‘sepsis savvy’ by raising awareness of the deadly condition with their staff, which, according to the charity, claimed at least 48,000 lives in the UK last year.
Hugh James started supporting the work of the UK Sepsis Trust about two years ago. Having a workforce of over 600 people, it was always going to be likely, sadly, that people had first-hand experience of sepsis but we were quite shocked to learn just how common it is.
So many of our colleagues’ lives have been touched by sepsis. Either they have been very poorly with sepsis themselves and are living with long term consequences (known as post-sepsis syndrome) or they have friends or family who have had the condition and were either very ill or tragically died.
Anyone can get sepsis. It doesn’t discriminate. Some groups are more likely to get an infection that could lead to sepsis, such as:
- people over 75
- people with diabetes
- people with a weakened immune system
- people who have recently had surgery or a serious illness
- women who have just given birth or had a miscarriage
It is not always possible to prevent sepsis but there are things you can do to help prevent infections that lead to it developing. These include:
- washing your hands regularly
- cleaning and caring for wounds
- taking prescribed antibiotics in accordance with the instructions
The UK Sepsis Trust is a fantastic charity set up by Dr Ron Daniels, an intensive care doctor and Vice President of the Global Sepsis Alliance. The charity has all kinds of resources that can help those who have contracted sepsis and their families. They offer support and information to individuals and their families through their advice line, including advice on post-sepsis syndrome, financial matters and returning to work. They also have a series of professional resources – free clinical tools and learning materials.
Dr Ron Daniels, CEO and founder of the UK Sepsis Trust said:
There’s a huge lack of awareness about sepsis, which is likely to be worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. To save lives demands both an aware public and switched-on health professionals. Symptoms can vary hugely so communication is key. We’re hoping that these resources will help to increase the public’s knowledge about this devastating condition in an engaging way
To find out more about sepsis and to access the tools available for families and professionals, as well as reading about their current campaigns and work, please visit the UK Sepsis Trust website.