Sepsis: Signs, symptoms and how to get tested

There are around 250,000 cases of sepsis a year in the UK, according to the UK Sepsis Trust, and at least 46,000 people die every year as a result of the condition.

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

  • fast heartbeat

  • fast breathing.

Credit: UK Sepsis Trust

Symptoms of more severe sepsis can include:

  • 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 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?

On World Sepsis Day this year, actor Warwick Davis talked to school pupils about his personal experience of the potentially fatal condition.

  • Our Correspondent, Mel Barham has this report: