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Home » Latest News » Sepsis: why are so many people being let down?

Sepsis: why are so many people being let down?

Sepsis: why are so many people being let down?

Sepsis is a very serious condition caused by the body’s immune system; when you have an infection (this ranges from an infection in a small cut, to water infections or ear infections) there is a chance that sepsis may develop.

A quick reaction and start to treatment is really important for people with sepsis, and it makes a huge difference on the chances of recovery. According to NHS England, in 2017/18 there were over 350,000 cases of sepsis reported. Without treatment sepsis can lead to death.

A BBC report has suggested that, while the NHS targets dictate that anyone displaying signs of Sepsis should receive treatment within an hour, around 25% of people are not being treated within this timeframe, putting their lives at risk. With around 50,000 people dying of sepsis in the UK every year, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that these at-risk patients are being treated appropriately and in a timely manner.

The Medical Director for Clinical Effectiveness at NHS England, Ms Celia Clark, said: “We’ve come a long way in the NHS in improving how we identify and tackle sepsis, with more people having the problem spotted and treated than ever before.

“The NHS long term plan is a blueprint for transforming NHS care and after the success we’ve had ramping up earlier sepsis diagnosis in many parts of the country, all hospitals will now be required to deliver the best possible practices for identifying and treating sepsis.”

Sepsis can be difficult to identify, particularly as in adults the symptoms often display like a chest infection, influenza or gastroenteritis. Hospitals are required to put patients on an antibiotic drip within an hour when they suspect that a patient might have sepsis.

Medical Negligence Solicitor Nicola Evans explains why so many sepsis cases end up being referred to legal representatives or Health Watch; “Sepsis is incredibly serious, but not always obvious in the first instance, that is why healthcare providers have done so much in recent years to train staff to be on the lookout for any symptoms. With that in mind, when a patient does go to meet with a doctor, or attend A&E they expect any signs of sepsis to be identified and acted on swiftly, but as we can see from the BBC figures this is just not happening.

“The affect of a missed Sepsis diagnosis or a delay in treatment can be devastating; this truly is an incredibly dangerous condition that could lead to multiple organ failure, or even death. When someone has been left with permanent damage, or bereft of a loved one, it is important that a factual complaint is made, this is the best way of improving health provision for all.”

“Sadly we see the results where things go wrong. It is so important that people go to the effort of raising complaints and highlighting failings in their care. If this is not done, then the people responsible for ensuring the changes are being made within the NHS simply will not get to know that areas still need work and improvement.”

“We do offer no-win no-fee legal representation for people who have been let down and harmed by a delay in diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, of Sepsis. In a successful claim, the compensation we secure goes towards putting the family in the financial situation they would have been in where it not for the negligence. This could mean money for any loss of earnings, help with rehabilitation and equipment or funding for carers and ongoing treatments if the injuries were avoidable.”

Nicola Evans is a Senior Solicitor based in Grimsby, she supports families who have been affected by poor medical treatment. If you would like to get in touch with Nicola to discuss a potential case of negligence, or indeed to assist her with highlighting the need for improved sepsis management then contact us on 01472 311711 or send an email to info@bmcf.co.uk.