Could it be sepsis? The question all clinicians should ask
The new The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines published today are a positive step forward for future victims of sepsis.
NICE now recommends sepsis should be treated as the same level of emergency as a heart attack. That means asking, whether in a GP surgery or a hospital ward, “could this be sepsis?” and doing so early.
Always consider sepsis
Although the early warning signs of sepsis are similar to symptoms of many viral and bacterial infections, NICE’s guidance is absolutely clear: doctors should always consider the possibility of sepsis first, in the same way they would treat chest pain as an indication of a heart attack.
This means sending the patient to hospital in an ambulance, where diagnosis and treatment of sepsis can take place.
This new advice on sepsis should go some way to reducing the 44,000 fatalities caused by the condition each year. Experts estimate that between 5,000 and 13,000 sepsis deaths could be avoided annually by better, earlier intervention.
What these new sepsis guidelines mean for medical negligence cases
“These new guidelines should be welcomed by all. They will save lives and avoid the life-changing damage to families caused by negligence.
I have represented individuals and their families where there has been negligence in a failure to appreciate the signs and symptoms of sepsis. As a result, I know how devastating sepsis can be.”
Further information on sepsis
To find out more about what sepsis is and how it should be treated, please visit our sepsis compensation claims page. If you or your family have been affected by a sepsis misdiagnosis, our specialist clinical negligence solicitors may be able to help.