What is Sepsis?

Sepsis, sometimes known as blood poisoning or septicaemia is an extremely serious, often fatal condition that kills around 40,000 people in the UK every year – and being very young, or old, diabetic, pregnant or on long-term steroids puts you at a higher risk.

Sepsis is caused when the body responds abnormally to germs, such as bacteria, when they get into the body and the person’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. It can result from any infection, even something as minor as a small cut or bite, sore throat, chest or urine infection.

If not treated quickly with fluids and antibiotics, sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death so it is vital that you know what to look out for.

Signs and symptoms

Seek urgent medical advice if there are early signs of flu-like illness, chest infection, diarrhoea and vomiting or inability to eat and drink, together with one of the symptoms of sepsis listed below

  • Pale, mottled skin.
  • Muscle pain and shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Breathlessness
  • Failure to pass any urine
  • A sense of ‘impending doom’ or a feeling that they might die

For more information about Sepsis go to: