15 August 2018

Increased recognition and prompt treatment of Sepsis helps to save lives

Evidence shows an increase in sepsis screening has led to speedier treatment and a reduction in mortality rates at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

Since April 2017, screening and prompt treatment for sepsis across the Trust has led to an 11 percentage point reduction in the Trust’s Risk Adjusted Mortality Index (RAMI) to April 2018.

Dr David Walker, Medical Director said: “We know the greatest chance of successful treatment of sepsis occurs if patients are treated within the ‘golden hour’. For each hour of delay in treatment, mortality increases by 8%. We have improved our recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis which is helping to save lives. Identifying early the symptoms of sepsis through screening patients, increasing the speed of which sepsis is confirmed, has ensured more patients are treated within the ‘golden hour’ – ultimately saving more lives as evidenced by a reduction in our mortality index.”

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by the body’s response to an infection. The body’s immune system protects from many illnesses and infections, but it’s also possible for it to go into overdrive in response to an infection. Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Without quick treatment, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

In the UK each year 123,000 people are affected by Sepsis with 37,000 people killed by Sepsis. 70% of patients with sepsis come from their own home environment outside of the hospital.

Significant improvements in the recognition and promote treatment of sepsis has been made since April 2017:
• Inpatient screening compliance has increased from 4.2% in April 2017 to 83.6% April 2018
• Inpatients with red flags who received antibiotics within one hour increased from 0% in April 2017 to 91.7% April 2018
• Emergency department screening compliance increased from 68.8% in April 2017 to 92.5% April 2018
• Emergency department patients with red flags who received antibiotics within one hour increased from 74.1% in April 2017 to 100% April 2018
• Rolling 12 month Risk Adjusted Mortality Index (RAMI) decreased from 89 in April 2017 to 78 April 2018

Top tips to prevent Sepsis:
• Ensure that you adopt good hand hygiene practice – Wash hands thoroughly, particularly after using the toilet, before preparing/eating food, after coughing/sneezing, after contact with animals or when hands are physically dirty.
• Have vaccinations as recommended by your GP – Vaccinations help prepare our bodies for infections such as influenza, meningitis and pneumonia. Having these jabs may help to prevent further infection.
• Take antibiotics in accordance with your Doctor’s advice – If prescribed antibiotics for an infection, don’t stop taking them when you start to feel better, ensure you take the full course.
• Look after wounds and seek medical advice promptly if concerned – Use antiseptic cream and keep wounds covered to help prevent infection. If the pain worsens, there is redness/warmth to the surrounding skin or discharge from the wound, seek medical advice.