Sepsis Awareness Week at St George’s

All this week staff at St George’s Hospital have been spreading awareness and educating patients about Sepsis as part of a nationwide campaign organised by The UK Sepsis Trust.

Staff have been getting involved through a range of training events held across St George’s whilst a series of posters, banners and literature were commissioned and distributed to every ward.

Every year in the UK, there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. A third of these deaths are preventable. Sepsis Awareness Week has seen St George’s staff try and change this by encouraging as many people as possible to learn about the condition.

Narani Sivayoham, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and member of the Project to Improve Sepsis Management (PRISM) group commented: “We want everyone to be involved with Sepsis Awareness Week to dust down their inhibitions for sepsis treatment and care. It’s a really good opportunity to get everyone energised to improve sepsis care and an opportunity to hear our staff’s views on sepsis management at the Trust.”

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. Instead of local inflammation resulting from a local infection, which would be the normal response, the entire body goes into inflammation. Despite advances in modern medicine, such as vaccines, antibiotics and acute care, it is the leading cause of death from infection around the world. Millions of people die from Sepsis every year.

The UK Sepsis Trust lists six symptoms to be aware of:

  • slurred speech
  • extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • passing no urine in a day
  • severe breathlessness
  • “I feel like I might die”
  • skin mottled or discoloured

Sepsis can be treated successfully. The first hours of treatment are the most important. Patients must receive appropriate antibiotic treatment as soon as possible. A benchmark to measure how effectively a Trust is providing optimal care for Sepsis, is the percentage of patients receiving antibiotics within the hour.

Find out more about Sepsis by visiting