How to spot the signs of sepsis

One in five people who have received hospital treatment for coronavirus, could go onto develop life-threatening sepsis according to new research. The UK Sepsis Trust claims that up to 20,000 people are at risk, but how do you spot the symptoms of this silent killer? And how can you prevent it? Dr Chris is here with his must-know advice. 

The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that close to 100,000 people are going to be discharged from hospital having had COVID-19 and, of these, 20,000 people are likely to develop sepsis within the first 12 months.

Sepsis is caused when your body overreacts to an infection. It develops when the chemicals in the immune system release into the bloodstream to fight an infection, which then causes inflammation throughout the entire body. 

Sepsis symptoms can be vague and can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection, starting with a fever above 101°F (38oC) or a temperature below 96.8°F (36°C). Here are some other symptoms to look out for:

S - For slurred speech and confusion

E - For extreme pain in the muscles or joints

P- For passing no urine in a day

S - For severe breathlessness

I - For "it feels like I'm going to die"

S - For skin that is mottled or discoloured.

Severe sepsis is a medical emergency. If you think you or someone in your care has one of these conditions, go straight to A&E or call 999.