Our Services A - Z - Sepsis
About the service
Sepsis is a common and potentially life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. The organs, such as the kidneys, lungs, heart or brain may “suffer” as a consequence.
Sepsis is serious, but diagnosing it quickly and giving antimicrobials early can help prevent it becoming more severe.
Sepsis is caused by infection in the body and some of the common sources are:
- Chest infection
- Urinary infection
- Brain infection
- Abdominal infection
- Skin, soft tissue infection
- Bone or joint infection
Any of these infections can lead the body to have an adverse reaction and organs may start to “suffer”.
- What are the symptoms?
If you have, or suspect you may have an infection, and you have one or more of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing signs of sepsis. Some of the symptoms of sepsis include:
- High temperature and/or extreme shivering
- Breathing fast and severe breathlessness
- New confusion
- Irritability or restlessness in children
- Cold or blue fingers or toes
- Skin mottled or discoloured
If you or your relative have any of these symptoms and are concerned, visit your GP or attend the Emergency Department.
In an emergency call 999.
- How is sepsis diagnosed?
Sepsis is diagnosed when a doctor or nurse thinks you have an infection, then by looking at observations like blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels and assessing organ function. Sometimes you will need to have blood tests and x-rays to confirm infection and how serious it is.
- What treatment is given in hospital for sepsis?
If sepsis is identified by your GP, you may need to come to hospital. If you are at home and think you may have sepsis and feel unwell you should attend hospital or call 999 in an emergency. Treatment in hospital is commenced rapidly. It includes administration of antimicrobials and fluids through a drip, blood tests, and other tests like x-rays. Sepsis can be very serious if not treated quickly and patients may require close monitoring and some may need to go to the Intensive Care Unit. There is a team of specialist nurses in the Trust called the Sepsis Nurse Specialists (SeNS). The sepsis team work alongside the doctors in the Emergency Department; you may be seen by a sepsis nurse or a doctor who will commence treatment to patients who have sepsis. Once this has happened, your care will be followed up by a specialist medical team.
- Who is most at risk of developing sepsis?
People who are at increased risk of developing sepsis are people who are on chemotherapy or immunosuppressant medication. The very young and the elderly are also at risk, and anyone with catheters or IV cannulas, or recent invasive surgical procedures.
- Are there any long term effects of Sepsis?
Usually a full recovery is expected from sepsis given timely treatment. Sometimes some organs may not function as well as they did before. This should be discussed by the discharging doctor in each individual’s case.
- Patient Information Leaflets
- Support and Advice
There are a number of organisations that provide support and advice for people and their families, who have had a diagnosis of sepsis, including:
- Tel: 0800 389 6255
- Email: email@example.com/
Widnes Sepsis Support Group Meeting
- 6.30pm start on 13th July, 14th September and 9th November 2022
- DCBL Stadium (Halton Stadium), Lower House Lane, Widnes, WA8 7DZ - Box 9, on the 2nd floor, lift access available.
Please click the image below for a downloadable PDF version.
Information provided by the Sepsis Trust, STHK are not responsible for the accuracy of the details provided, neither are they involved in the event itself.
Page last updated on 24th June 2022