Identification and management of sepsis
How you can make a difference to this life threatening and time critical condition
- By: Julia R Blackburn, Ron Daniels
Sepsis is a common condition with an estimated annual incidence of 90.4 cases per 100 000 population in Europe.1 Severe sepsis has a high mortality rate, causing roughly 36 800 deaths annually in the United Kingdom.2 Junior doctors have an important part to play in the early recognition, assessment, and management of sepsis, including timely involvement of senior colleagues.
Around half of patients who trigger on early warning score charts in hospital do so because of sepsis.3 Doctors need a “whole patient” approach to managing sepsis, rather than just treating the infective cause. This is because it is not the bacteria that kill patients but the inflammatory response syndrome associated with the infection.4
Sepsis accounts for about 15% of all deaths that occur within seven days of hospital admission.5 Early intervention in sepsis not only saves lives but can also limit the severity of illness. Getting the basics right can prevent deterioration