Today (15th December 2016) a new campaign has been launched by Public Health England (PHE) to help raise awareness of Sepsis – a condition which has been blamed for approximately 37,000 deaths a year and arises as a complication of infection. It is part of the work of Melissa Mead who tragically lost her son to the condition when he was just a year old. Melissa has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition.
From now on doctors will be encouraged to consider sepsis in those who are displaying common symptoms and extra emphasis will be placed on informing parents of young children and new mothers about the common symptoms which can differ to that of an adult. Up to date information will also be included in the ‘red book’ given to mothers when their baby is born.
Jeremy Hunt has publically welcomed the campaign; ‘We need to get far better at spotting it across the NHS. By raising awareness and improving clinical practice, we can help save lives in the fight against this horrible illness’ and here at talkhealth we want to do our bit to promote awareness of this awful condition.
Common symptoms of sepsis in babies and young children are:
- disinterest or difficulty feeding (when awake), or vomiting
- fever (a temperature above 38°C)
- irritability or increased bad temper
- lethargy (not interacting and listless)
- changes in heart rate — either faster than normal (early sepsis) or significantly slower than usual (late sepsis, usually associated with shock)
- breathing very fast or difficulty breathing
- periods where there seems to be a pause in breathing for more than 10 seconds (apnea)
- change in skin color — becoming pale, patchy, and/or blue
- jaundice (when the skin and eyes look yellow)
- decreased amount of urine (in babies this will show as significantly fewer wet nappies)
- bulging or fullness of the soft spot (fontanelle) on the baby’s head
For further information on sepsis and to read more about the campaign in the UK visit: http://sepsistrust.org/