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SEPSIS is an intolerable and indiscriminate killer of people of any age, background and social status. It kills 150-200 people every month in Scotland and causes more deaths than lung cancer or colon, breast and prostate cancer combined.
Yet many of us don’t know what it is, let alone spot the signs.
Professor Kevin Rooney, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, has been at the forefront of the fight against SEPSIS and co-produced the Sepsis Screening app back in 2014.
Professor Rooney said: “Today is World SEPSIS Day and should be a reminder that this killer is not going away. It is one of the leading reasons why young women die in pregnancy. That said, it cuts across people of all ages, backgrounds and social status, yet many people don’t know anything about it.
“Health professionals in Scotland are now much more geared up to look out for the signs of SEPSIS in seriously ill patients, who are scored and monitored as part of an early warning system in emergency departments. Prompt recognition, assessment and timely treatment are key to beating this ruthless disease. Rapid initiation of simple timely interventions, including antibiotics and intravenous fluids, can reduce the risk of death by half.”
Every three to four seconds, someone dies of SEPSIS, a life-threatening reaction to infection. Here are the signs to look out for, in an easy to remember format:
S - slurred speech
E - extreme muscle pain or shivering
P – not passing urine
S - severe breathlessness
I - feel like I might die
S - skin discoloration or mottling
Professor Rooney added: “Due to highly successful awareness campaigns, many people now know the signs to look out for in meningitis, which is a form of SEPSIS. I believe we should use World SEPSIS Day as an opportunity to talk amongst our friends and family about the signs and symptoms of this killer and find out more. It may just save your life one day.”