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Spotting the signs of sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and can be difficult to spot.
It’s important to act fast as with an early diagnosis, it is easily treatable.
Sepsis affects 245,000 people every year in the UK alone, and 48,000 people die of sepsis-related illnesses.
World Sepsis Day (Wednesday 13 September) is held every year to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms to save more lives.
Sepsis can affect anyone, although it primarily affects very young children and older adults, and is also more common in people with underlying health conditions.

An adult may have sepsis if they show any of these signs:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine in a day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like they are going to die
  • Skin is mottled or discoloured.

A child may have sepsis if he or she is:

  • Breathing very fast
  • Has a 'fit' or convulsion
  • Their skin looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • They have a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • They are very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • They feel abnormally cold to touch.

Call 999 or visit A&E if someone has one of the sepsis symptoms.

Call 111 or contact your GP if you're worried about an infection.

For more information, visit The UK Sepsis Trust website and the NHS website.


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