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SepsisWhat is Sepsis?

Sepsis, also know as blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, however it can be easily treated if caught early. Symptoms of sepsis will present differently between adults and children.

How do I spot Sepsis?

Sepsis could occur as the result of any infection. There is no one sign for sepsis.

Sepsis is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. Seek medical help urgently if you develop any of the following:

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

Sepsis in Children

If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours) just ask "could it be sepsis?".

Any child who:

  • is breathing very fast
  • has a 'fit' or convulsion
  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch

might have sepsis. Call 999 and just ask "could it be sepsis?".

Any child under 5 who:

  • is not feeding
  • is vomiting repeatedly
  • hasn't had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours

might have sepsis. If you're worried they're deteriorating call 111 or ask to see your GP.

Download the SAM leaflet (Sepsis Assessment & Management) for more information and a helpful checklist.

SAM Leaflet

Sepsis Symptom Child

Sepsis Symptoms Adult

Please visit The UK Sepsis Trust for more information and excellent resources.

 
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