1. ITV Report

Rise in Sepsis cases in hospitals across Wales

Credit: PA

There has been a 10% rise in sepsis infections across Welsh NHS hospitals, according to figures obtained by Welsh Conservatives.

The infection occurs when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs, and it can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if not recognised early.

Number of recorded cases across Wales NHS hospitals in 2016/17

Despite this rise the number of deaths from Sepsis actually fell by 5%. In total, 5,183 deaths were recorded over the three year period.

Shadow Health Secretary Angela Burns who had the infection and says it 'hits patients like a car crash' is now calling for mandatory training to be provided to frontline NHS staff to help them spot the signs of the infection.

Shadow Health Secretary Angela Burns has had Sepsis. She says it 'hits patients like a car crash'.

Sepsis is one of the most awful of conditions and hits patients like a car crash. Very few people escape unscathed and yet it is entirely preventable which is so frustrating.

A third of people who become infected with sepsis are likely to die, while a third survive but with life-changing injuries; and the other third, like myself, appear to have recovered on the surface but will carry the illness and its mental scars for years to come. Three years after becoming infected, I still suffer with bouts of depression and memory impairment.

As Chair of the cross-party group on sepsis, we will soon be publishing an action plan to combat this invidious infection, which as these figures show is on the rise. The plan will include recommendations including mandatory sepsis awareness training for frontline NHS staff, and to involve GPs much more closely with diagnosis and awareness.

– Angela Burns AM

We are all concerned about sepsis and the international community has recognised the considerable efforts being made in Wales to improve prevention, diagnosis and early treatment.

The increase in cases over the last year coincides with an increasing number of elderly patients admitted to hospital. It is important to note that during this time the number of deaths from sepsis decreased.

We do not agree that sepsis is entirely preventable but we agree some cases are. It is vital then that the diagnosis is made and effective treatment started promptly. Although it is hard to draw firm conclusions from these year on year figures, they appear to suggest that progress on both counts is being made in Wales.

– Welsh Government Spokesperson