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Home > News > Specialist nurses spread the sepsis awareness message

Specialist nurses spread the sepsis awareness message

Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2017
Specialist nurses spread the sepsis awareness message

North Cumbria’s hospitals are continuing in their fight against sepsis on World Sepsis Day today (Wednesday 13 September).

Recent figures from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust show that 61 percent of sepsis patients are being treated within an hour and 81 percent of patients who meet the criteria for sepsis screening are being screened. This is in line with national performance and the Trust’s two specialist sepsis nurses are striving to make further improvements.

Emily Ashbridge and Donna Lewthwaite, have been working at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven since February and they have been focusing on the screening and treatment of sepsis patients as well as providing education and training to staff.

Sepsis is a life threatening emergency that is caused by the body’s response to an infection that becomes systemic, injuring its own tissues and organs. If not recognised early and treated promptly, sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and even death. In cases of severe sepsis, every hour that treatment is delayed the chance of death increases.

Every year there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in 44,000 deaths which is more than deaths from bowel, prostate and breast cancer combined.

Emily Ashbridge, specialist sepsis nurse at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Sepsis is a serious and complicated condition which requires prompt treatment. We’re here to ensure all staff at the Trust think ‘sepsis’ when dealing with an ill patient and we’re out to promote World Sepsis Day today”.

Dr Jon Sturman, consultant anaesthetist and Trust-lead on sepsis, added: “As a Trust we are making huge efforts to improve the recognition and lifesaving management of sepsis patients. This includes investing in staff training, monitoring, improved communication and team working, early lifesaving treatments and provision of intensive care expertise where life support is needed. All of these components will improve sepsis outcomes. We are beginning to see improvements using this approach and that is to the credit of all front line staff”.

Clive Graham, consultant microbiologist and Trust lead on infection prevention, said: “We want the public as well as staff to be aware of sepsis. Everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms which are:

  • 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

“If in doubt, seek medical attention as soon as possible”.