I attended a reception hosted by Sarah Newton MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, in Parliament to show my support for efforts to tackle the relatively unknown illness sepsis, which claims the lives of 37,000 people every year in the UK.
The event supported World Sepsis Day, which is on 13th September, aiming to raise awareness of a condition that kills more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined.
This awareness reception was supported by the ‘Cycle for Sepsis’ campaign – teams from England and Wales cycled to Westminster, stopping at hospitals along the way to raise money and awareness of sepsis with healthcare professionals.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines and antibiotics acute care experts believe not enough is being done to save lives.
The event was attended by many parliamentarians, and was supported by a number of representatives from charities and the medical and nursing Royal Colleges, sepsis survivors, doctors, nurses, health professionals and the general public.
Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said, “Through strategies for early recognition and treatment, many more sepsis patients will be diagnosed and interventions delivered before severe organ dysfunction develops.”
While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly. It is a little known life threatening illness that claims the lives of 37,000 people in the UK every year. If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.
In Ealing Southall, there are an average of 140 cases of severe sepsis per year and more than 50 deaths. Simple, timely interventions could instantly cut deaths from sepsis by more than 50%.
I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public.