Spotting Sepsis – the signs and symptoms to look out for

  • March 15, 2019
  • One in four intensive care-admissions are a result of patients being diagnosed with sepsis. Around 250,000 people in the UK develop sepsis every year. Sepsis can be triggered by an infection in any part of the body and it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues.

    Immune systems response to an infection or injury

    Sepsis is difficult to spot and if untreated could be fatal. Dr Ron Daniels, a consultant in critical care at Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust and chief executive of The UK Sepsis Trust says “Sepsis isn’t one disease, but the result of your body’s immune system going into overdrive in response to an infection or injury”.

    The UK Sepsis Trust states that sepsis claims the lives of 5 people every hour in the UK and a quarter of all sepsis survivors suffer permanent and life-altering after effects. If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.

    TV Presenter Fern Britton, known for her work with ITV and BBC fell ill to sepsis in 2016 after a routine hysterectomy, and her symptoms initially went undiagnosed, has said “If you’re at home thinking I’m in all this pain and you’ve just had some kind of insult to your body where a bug could get in, it could be sepsis. So you must ring your doctor and ask, ‘Could this be sepsis?’”.

    What to look out for?


    Slurred speech or confusion

    Extreme shivering or muscle pain

    Passing no urine (in a day)

    Sever breathlessness

    It feels like you are going to die

    Skin mottled or discoloured


    ● Is breathing very fast
    ● Has a fit or convulsion
    ● Looks mottled, blue or pale
    ● Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
    ● Is very lethargic and difficult to wake
    ● Feels abnormally cold to touch

    A child under five may have sepsis if he or she:

    ● Is not feeding
    ● Is vomiting repeatedly
    ● Has not passed urine for 12 hours

    We have an experienced team of medical negligence solicitors who can offer you and your family specialist advice. We deal with all areas of medical negligence including delay in diagnosis. Amrit Dhaliwal, Associate Solicitor at the Medical Accident Group said, “We have experience in claims relating to deaths or injury as a result of sepsis. If you or someone you know has suffered a delay in diagnosis of sepsis or the condition has not been managed correctly then please contact us.” If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email us at

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