1,000 children needlessly die each year from this deadly disease
I back awareness of sepsis
I attended a reception hosted by Cheryl Gillan MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, at the Palace of Westminster to show his support for efforts to tackle the relatively unknown illness sepsis, which claims the lives of 37,000 people – including 1,000 children - every year in the UK. The event supported World Sepsis Day (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 – the Trust’s teams cycled more than 700 miles from hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales, raising awareness of the devastating disease by tweeting, posting and sharing their heart-breaking stories at each stage of the journey.
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. Speakers included the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust and Sue Morrish, who lost her son to sepsis.
At the reception, the Department of Health welcomed vital steps for healthcare professionals to follow in the case of a dangerous fever - a 'paediatric toolkit' designed by the UK Sepsis Trust - in a bid to drive down death rates. The UK Sepsis Trust also launched a screening tool for healthcare professionals and pocket guide for parents, incorporating the new concept of Red Flag Sepsis in children. Greater recognition in hospitals and the community could prevent thousands of deaths and save the NHS £160 million annually.
Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said: “We hope that the event will help patients and healthcare professionals find out more about how to detect and treat the disease in the early stages, and maximise the chances of recovery. This year, the government has driven up care standards, but more needs to be done to raise awareness levels throughout the UK, to save lives.”
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: "It’s vital that we tackle this devastating condition, which destroys the lives of hundreds of families each year. We’re already making good progress to improve diagnosis – but of course we want to go further. So I welcome this toolkit, which will help NHS staff spot the early signs of sepsis and act quickly with the right treatments, preventing children from needlessly losing their lives to this silent killer.”
“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, including 1,000 children. 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.”
“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”
Virendra Sharma MP
About UK Sepsis Trust
The UK Sepsis Trust is a coalition of doctors, nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals, health care managers and members of the public who have been directly or indirectly affected by the condition. The UK Sepsis Trust is a registered charity (registration number 1158843, company number 8644039).