Patients urged to know the signs of sepis

It’s World Sepsis Day on Sunday 13th September, an important opportunity to highlight the symptoms of this common illness and its potentially devastating effects. In the UK alone 48,000 people a year lose their lives to sepsis related illness.

Sepsis is the immune systems over reaction to an infection or an injury. Sometimes it is also called blood poisoning. If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. If it is diagnosed early it can be treated with antibiotics so it’s vitally important to be aware of the symptoms.

There are at least 245,000 cases of sepsis a year across the UK and sadly 5 people an hour die from it. The symptoms can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children. And so it’s really important people are aware of what to look out for, in themselves or in others, so that treatment can be given quickly if it is sepsis, which is why as a practice we are taking this opportunity to raise awareness.

Symptoms of sepsis can vary and look different in adults and children.


In adults we might see:

S – slurred speech or confusion

E – extreme shivering or muscle pain

P – passing no urine in a day

S – severe breathlessness

I – it feels like you are going to die

S – skin mottled or discoloured

Seek medical help urgently if you or another adult develop any of these signs.


In children we might see:

  • Fast breathing
  • Fits or convulsions
  • Mottled, bluish or pale skin
  • A rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Lethargy or difficulty waking
  • Abnormally cold to touch

And in under 5s:

  • Child not feeding
  • Repeated vomiting
  • No passing of urine for 12 hours

If your child is unwell with a fever or very low temperature (or fever in last 24 hours), or these symptoms call 999 and ask the question, “Could this be sepsis?”



Published: Sep 13, 2020