Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
The guidance (www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG51) urges doctors, nurses and paramedics to consider sepsis early on when treating any patients unwell with infections. The question, ‘could this be sepsis?’, must be at the forefront of their mind when examining and taking a history from the patient.
With sepsis it is critical that treatment is administered as soon as possible, because delay can lead to severe organ failure, shock and death. Sadly it is often missed, and early intervention can be the difference between life and death.
The patient can present with an initial problem, which can be quite mild and start anywhere. Examples could be from a cut finger or a chest / urine infection. Sometimes the patient’s condition can deteriorate and typical presentations would be rapid breathing, pain and generally feeling unwell. This deterioration could be the developing sepsis. This is due to the body’s own natural immune system overreacting in its efforts to overcome the initial infection.
If left untreated, sepsis sets off a cascade of reactions - from shock to organ failure and even death. The outcome, from a lack of timely diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, can be catastrophic for patients and their families.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have a specialist clinical negligence and personal injury team who represent patients and their families that have suffered significant injuries, and in some case the tragic loss of a loved one. All of this could be avoided with a timely consideration, by a doctor or paramedic, of the possibility of sepsis as a cause for the presenting symptoms and an immediate referral to hospital.
Sepsis can develop in both adults and children. The difficulties with diagnosis in children is difficult and the publication of the new NICE guidelines coincides with a safety alert from NHS Improvement calling for reform to prevent children deteriorating unnoticed in hospitals from conditions, such as sepsis. We have welcomed the raising of awareness of these issues through these new guidelines, which will hopefully go some way to preventing injury and saving lives.
If you, or someone you know, want to know more about the services we provide, and how we have successfully brought claims against hospitals and GPs in instances where there may have been a delay in diagnosis of a medical causing an injury or a death, then please contact us. We are happy to talk to you on a free no obligation basis.
If you require any further information or wish to speak to any of our team, please contact us on 0121 200 3242 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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