Man in his house on the phone talking about how to spot sepsis

Spotting Sepsis – the signs and symptoms to look out for

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 said: “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 five 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, developed sepsis in 2016 after a hysterectomy. Her symptoms initially went undiagnosed, and she 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 through the course of a day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Mottled or discoloured skin


  • Rapid breathing
  • Fits or convulsions
  • Mottled, blue or pale skin
  • A rash that doesn’t fade when pressed
  • Lethargic or 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 twelve 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, please contact us.”

If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email us at [email protected].

Man in his house on the phone talking about how to spot sepsis Man in his house on the phone talking about how to spot sepsis

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Amrit Dhaliwal, Associate

Joining Medical Accident Group in 2017 as an associate, Amrit spent the previous 10 years working for a nationally recognised firm building an excellent reputation in personal injury claims. Amrit goes above and beyond to help her clients and fight their cases, always handling complexities and concerns calmly and logically.

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Amrit Dhaliwal, Associate at Medical Accident Group