What is Sepsis?

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sepsis must be in the news today, as the people here think we should be writing about it for educational purposes. So here we go. You can thank Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust for this trip into a virtual A&E department today, as they want to raise awareness of the... the... thing that it is and... what it does.

It's a blood thing. An infection. A sort of blood poisoning, one that can develop after an operation or unrelated infection. The NHS has a list of the things you should look out for if you need another thing to worry about, which include lethargy and mottled skin in children, and fever and chills in adults. It happens when an infection in one part of your body becomes mobile due to a weakened immune system, so instead of one gammy bit, all of you goes gammy all at once. This leads to mass inflammation of the entire body, which can interfere with breathing and blood flow, so is potentially very serious indeed.

The Sepsis Trust says 37,000 deaths in England each year are attributable to Sepsis, so it might be worth at least dedicating a minute or two of work time to familiarising yourself with the symptoms. Young people, old people, people with immune conditions, people on steroids, pregnant people and most people in hospital are the ones most likely to see an infection spread, so that seems to cover pretty much everyone. If you've got it: sorry. [NHS]


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