UK SEPSIS TRUST URGES BUSINESSES TO BECOME ‘SEPSIS SAVVY’ WITH NEW CAMPAIGN – AS 1 IN 12 PEOPLE HOSPITALISED WITH COVID-19 AT RISK OF DEVELOPING SEPSIS

  • SEPSIS SAVVY WILL EMPOWER THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR WITH
    POTENTIALLY LIFE-SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE SIGNS OF SEPSIS
  • DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH ICELAND FOODS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, ICELAND FOODS ARE THE FIRST COMPANY TO SIGN UP – CEO TARSEM DHALIWAL: “IF WE ALL PLAY OUR PART, WE CAN SAVE EVEN MORE LIVES”
  • SEPSIS AFFECTS 245,000 AND KILLS 48,000 IN THE UK EVERY YEAR – AND IS ASSOCIATED WITH 1 IN 5 DEATHS WORLDWIDE – YET MANY PEOPLE ARE UNAWARE OF THE SYMPTOMS

The UK Sepsis Trust (UKST) has launched its ‘Sepsis Savvy’ campaign, encouraging businesses to raise awareness among their staff of the deadly condition which last year claimed at least 48,000 lives in the UK – more than breast, bowel and prostate cancers combined. Businesses which have already signed up to the campaign include Iceland Foods, Direct Line, Laing O’Rourke, Birmingham City University, and Bolton Wanderers F.C.

Sepsis is when the immune system overreacts to an infection. Globally it claims 11 million lives a year, yet with early diagnosis it can often be treated quickly and easily. Unfortunately, sepsis can often be missed as there is no one sign, and symptoms can present differently amongst adults and children. That is why the charity is encouraging organisations to empower their staff and customers to become sepsis savvy, so they can be alert and understand the importance of asking: could it be sepsis?

The free Sepsis Savvy resources, including a short educational video (produced pro-bono by Birmingham-based Ark Media) and a simple online game, are available by signing up at https://sepsistrust.org/savvy.

Sepsis awareness is more crucial than ever, as recent research reveals the relationship between Covid-19 and sepsis is closer than first thought. Recent research reveals that 1 in 12 people hospitalised with Covid-19 are at risk of developing sepsis. In addition, both sepsis and Covid-19 trigger a disproportionate immune response, as well as sharing symptoms such as fever spikes, breathlessness and muscle pain, meaning there is a real risk of people confusing the signs.

Dr. Ron Daniels, CEO and founder of the UK Sepsis Trust said: “There’s a huge lack of awareness about sepsis, which is likely to be worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. To save lives demands both an aware public and switched-on health professionals – symptoms can vary hugely so communication is key. We’re hoping that these resources will help to increase the public’s knowledge about this devastating condition in an engaging way.”

Lead partner and long-term UKST collaborator, Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF), co-developed and provided significant funds towards the development of the Sepsis Savvy concept and resources. Tarsem Dhaliwal, CEO of Iceland Foods and Trustee of IFCF, said: “When it comes to saving lives from sepsis we know awareness is key. That’s why we’re delighted to have been involved with Sepsis Savvy from the start and, of course, to be one of the first organisations to sign up! The short film and game make it easy for us to educate our colleagues about sepsis and the signs to look out for and, crucially, it’s free and really easy to implement. We’re encouraging other like-minded companies to get involved too – if we all play our part, we can save even more lives.”

Jason Watkins, actor and UKST ambassador, has been involved in the development of the campaign, and appears in the Sepsis Savvy video, speaking powerfully about the tragic loss of his two-year-old daughter, Maude. Watkins said: “I’d urge, in the strongest terms possible, as many organisations as possible to sign up to Sepsis Savvy. We may well not have lost our darling daughter to sepsis if we’d known more about this condition and what to look out for. But sepsis was not, and still is not, part of our everyday language – and that’s the terrible tragedy and truth. We’re determined to prevent other families going through what we’ve been, and are still, going through. So please, sign up now and protect your colleagues, customers, clients.

The six symptoms of sepsis in adults are:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine in 24 hours
  • Severe breathlessness
  • ‘I feel like I might die’
  • Skin that’s mottled, very pale, or slightly blue

Eventually the UKST hopes that the Sepsis Savvy campaign will also be adopted by sporting clubs, schools, universities and charities such as those supporting the homeless and other vulnerable communities.