A Health Service Ombudsman report indicates avoidable mortality in patients with sepsis, having found significant failings in treatment of the condition. Sepsis is caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to infection. It is more common in elderly
people, and can be an extremely dangerous condition. Approximately 37,000 people die of sepsis each year, which accounts for 100,000 hospital admissions in the UK.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) plans to produce guidance for GPs and clinicians to help better recognition of sepsis at an early stage. New and improved recommendations could potentially save 12,500 lives per year.
Sepsis lives can be saved, says ombudsman. London: BBC Health News, September 12th 2013.
This relates to:
Time to act – Severe sepsis: rapid diagnosis and treatment saves lives. London: Health Service Ombudsman for England, September 2013.
There is also an Executive Summary.
Useful background reading:
Daniels, R. Kain, L. [and] White, C. (2012). Sepsis: a guide for patients & relatives. [Birmingham]: UK Sepsis Trust and ICUsteps, 2012.
See also: The Sepsis Six.
Rapid Blood Test to Diagnose Blood Poisoning?
A King’s College London study published in Plos One indicates that researchers may have identified a biomarker for diagnosing sepsis rapidly in blood samples.
Briggs, H. (2013). Blood test ‘detects sepsis in hours’. London: BBC Health News, October 18th 2013.
This relates to:
Ma, Y. Vilanova, D. [and] Atalar, K. [et al] (2013). Genome-wide sequencing of cellular microRNAs identifies a combinatorial expression signature diagnostic of sepsis. PLoS ONE, October 2013, 8(10): e75918.
The Diminishing Impact of Antibiotics
Patients may be dying from sepsis due to the lack of effective antibiotics. The problem of antibiotic resistance is likely to get worse unless new and effective antibiotics are developed. The recording of sepsis cases by hospitals is often inadequate; there is generally insufficient recognition of sepsis and knowledge about early treatment.
Pym, H. (2014). Sepsis: Antibiotics ‘not working’. London: BBC Health News, August 20th 2014.