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  1. ITV Report

Sepsis: Signs, symptoms and how to get tested

A new rapid test for sepsis was developed by scientists earlier this year. Credit: PA

With hospital admissions for potentially deadly sepsis more than doubling in England, the focus is on the common and potentially life-threatening condition, which is triggered by an infection.

A sepsis infection can start anywhere in the body and can occur after chest or water infections, abdomen problems as well as cuts and bites.

If untreated, sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death.

The disease leads to 52,000 deaths in the UK each year, according to the Sepsis Trust.

Tom Ray, who fell into a coma after contracting sepsis, has called for mandatory training on sepsis. Credit: ITV News

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Sepsis is caused by the way the body responds to germs, such as bacteria.

The body’s response to an infection may injure its own tissues and organs.

Many symptoms of sepsis are also associated with meningitis, here are some of the early signs:

  • high temperature (fever)
  • chills and shivering
  • a fast heartbeat
  • fast breathing

Symptoms of more severe sepsis can include:

A sepsis infection can start anywhere in the body. Credit: PA
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • confusion or disorientation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • not passing water for prolonged periods
  • cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin

How to get tested for sepsis?

Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection. Credit: PA

Sepsis is often diagnosed based on simple measurements such as your temperature, heart rate and breathing rate.

Other tests include blood tests and a urine or stool sample can help determine the type of infection and where it is located.

Where can you find out more?