Date: 13 September 2013

Blog from Carmel Gordon-Dark, Outreach Sister at The London Clinic

Friday 13 September 2013
Recognition – Early treatment – Survival

Today is World Sepsis Day and here at The London Clinic we want to help raise the awareness of sepsis, a life threatening illness which claims the lives of 37,000 people in the UK every year – more than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis, previously known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, is the body’s overreaction to infection causing it to attack its own organs and tissues.

It is caused by the way in which the body can respond to microorganisms, such as bacteria, getting into your body. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure or even death if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.

Parliamentary Reception

As the Lead Nurse for The London Clinic’s Critical Care Outreach Team and with links to the UK Sepsis Trust; I was fortunate enough to be invited to a function at the House of Commons this week to help raise the awareness of this life-threatening illness.

The function was opened by Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust. Other speakers included Dr Julian Huppert MP, Andrew Gwynne MP and Dame Julie Mellor DBE, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Erin McNeill, who is a survivor of sepsis also spoke alongside Terence Canning who lost his brother to sepsis.

Over 40 MPs attended this awareness event as well as a number of representatives from charities, sepsis survivors, health professionals and the general public.  They all want to raise the Government’s awareness and treatment of sepsis in the UK.

As a survivor of sepsis myself, I am working to raise awareness here at The London Clinic and in the UK. A key way is letting people know that  Recognition plus early treatment equals survival.

This has been implemented at the Clinic through continuous training for health care professionals based on the life-saving measures known as ‘the sepsis six’ with ‘Sepsis Champions’ on each ward to help raise awareness.


Key information about Sepsis


  • In the UK at least 100,000 people each year suffer from serious sepsis.
  • Worldwide three in 1000 people develop sepsis each year which means 18 million are affected.
  • Causes vary from chest infection and pneumonia, urine infection, burst ulcer, bowel perforation or general wounds and infected cuts or bites.
  • Common symptoms can include feeling cold and shivery, having a high temperature, aching muscles, tiredness, lack of appetite, confusion and slurring of speech
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