Increasing Awareness of Sepsis
Email from a friend re Sepsis:
Last year one our oldest friends lost their 21-year-old son to Sepsis brought on by Meningitis W. His was a totally avoidable death for many reasons. Firstly, he should have been vaccinated against Meningitis W through the Men ACWY vaccination programme, and secondly, failing that, vaccinated opportunistically at his surgery had the critical NHS patient alert software not been released inactive regarding this vaccine. Those nationwide programme failures were compounded by errors at our local hospital including the catastrophic failure to diagnose and treat the ensuing Sepsis, resulting in the death of a fit and healthy young man in a matter of 21 hours from first manifestation of symptoms.
Over a quarter of a million people in the UK suffer from Sepsis each year - of these some 52,000 people die - more than the combined total of deaths caused by breast, bowel and prostate cancer.
Whilst we are all aware bereavement has obvious and long-term effects on the mental wellbeing of those left behind, we had not previously worked out how one death impacts the mental health of so many others, be they family friends or colleagues.
Of those who survive Sepsis, many are left with life long and life changing problems, with nearly 20% of survivors suffering moderate to severe cognitive dysfunction and 22% enduring ongoing and debilitating PTSD. A high proportion of these survivors will return to work and these “invisible” symptoms will inevitably affect their working lives as well as impact on their family situations.
With The Lord Mayor’s Appeal we aim to improve the Mental Health of all. Therefore with Sepsis being such a huge and relatively unknown life changing condition we are hoping you familiarise yourself with the Sepsis symptoms (Slurred speech or confusion, Extreme shivering or muscle pain, Passing no urine (in a day), Severe breathlessness, It feels like you’re going to die, Skin mottled or discoloured), and follow the “Just Ask” advice should you, your friends, family, loved ones, employees or anyone you know show any symptoms. Please do share this information with your friends, family, colleagues, employees, MPs and any contacts who may benefit. It would also be wonderful if you would consider adding the below as a footer to your email correspondence, either internal, external or both, thus increasing awareness of this dreadful condition.
Should you like further details about Sepsis - or if you can offer any support that might enable The UK Sepsis Trust to continue to save lives as they work to educate medical professionals, continue the research into the causes and treatment of Sepsis, lobby government, educate the public and support survivors please do contact Sarah Hamilton-Fairley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can Save and Improve Lives