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a blood bacteria imageFebruary 6 2018

General practices are being asked to promote awareness of sepsis signs and symptoms in Scotland. Display materials promoting the ‘Sepsis – every hour counts’ campaign have been distributed to practices and hospitals and will be part of a wider national campaign.

Launched on February 5, the campaign is backed with media activity using print, radio and social media, and 1,200 community pharmacies will display a poster. The work is being done through the Scottish Patient Safety Programme; FEAT, Scotland’s sepsis charity, is partnering with the Scottish Government to launch the campaign.

“Symptoms of sepsis can multiply and get worse very quickly,” says the campaign. Any combination of the following symptoms requires immediate action:

  • very high or low temperature;
  • uncontrolled shivering;
  • confusion;
  • cold or blotchy hands and feet;
  • not passing as much urine as normal.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The Scottish Government is committed to raising awareness of the dangers of sepsis. One person every four hours dies as a result of sepsis which is why it is so important this campaign, backed by £70,000 Scottish Government funding, will highlight the symptoms of this often-silent and often-deadly condition to millions of Scots.

“While mortality rates from sepsis have fallen by 21% since 2012, there is still more to be done and I am confident this campaign will play its part in equipping the public with a better understanding of the signs and symptoms.”

Calum McGregor, NHS Lanarkshire consultant acute physician and National Clinical Lead for Acute Care with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, added: “Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and even death. Early treatment with appropriate antibiotics can reduce mortality.

“Sepsis can be difficult to recognise, and many of the symptoms can be attributed to other conditions. Five symptoms and signs to be aware of are a change in behaviour such as confusion, cold or blotchy hands and feet, uncontrollable shivering, very high or low temperature, and reduced urine output.

“Recent data suggests that for every hour’s delay in antibiotics, the chances of dying from sepsis increase so it is vital we get people the treatment they need as quickly as possible.”

Links:
Scottish Government announcement   
NHS Inform Sepsis awareness   
FEAT sepsis charity       

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