Sepsis causes 8 million deaths worldwide every year. It can strike any of us, young or old, and there are numerous triggers. Yet most people have never heard of it and even fewer understand it.
Sepsis, sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning, happens when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection. The initial problem could be anything from a chest infection to a cut finger, but if the immune system overreacts, it can trigger a catastrophic attack on that infection that threatens the body’s own tissues and organs leading to shock, organ failure and death.
The problem is that sepsis can be very tricky to spot. There are lots of different symptoms associated with the condition and many of them can be easily mistaken for something less dangerous. In fact the first signs are often similar to flu, a chest infection or a stomach bug.
The BBC webpage "Trust me I'm a doctor" (includes a short video) have published a check list of warning signs. Being aware of them could help avoid the need for an amputation or even save a life.
Although sepsis is dangerous, a quick response can make a huge difference. Sepsis CAN be beaten. For more information see SEPSIS TRUST
In babies there may be additional symptoms