Awareness day for potentially fatal sepsis
4:01pm Saturday 14th September 2013 in News
NHS staff across Gwent are today (FRI) highlighting the dangers of a condition that kills 37,000 people every year in UK, including around 1,850 in Wales.
Sepsis, often referred to also as blood poisoning or septicaemia, occurs when the body's response to an infection ends up damaging its own tissues and organs.
It can kill in a matter of hours unless quickly identified and robustly treated. The annual UK death toll is higher than for breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.
Staff at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr will mark World Sepsis Day today (FRI) 10am-3pm, with an information display stand explaining how to recognise the symptoms in the community.
A similar display is being held at the main concourse, Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, 10am-4pm.
When a patient reaches hospital with sepsis every second counts. Nurses and doctors use a simple scoring system to determine the level of illness, based on measures such as blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, the level of oxygen in the blood and the patient’s level of consciousness.
These are compared to the normal range to generate a single score. This is called the NHS early warning scoring system (NEWS).
Jacqueline Gardner, advanced nurse practitioner at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, at Ystrad Mynach, said more than 80 per cent of the hospital's nurses are trained in NEWS and in the use of a sepsis 'bundle', a set of evidence-based care procedures.
Another sepsis-linked project in Wales is Rapid Response to Acute Illness (RRAILS) developed by the 1,000 Lives Plus programme.
* For symptoms and other information, visit www.sepsistrust.org
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