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Helping save lives on World Sepsis Day
11 September 2017

Sepsis projection onto the Garrett Anderson Centre building at Ipswich HospitalStaff at our hospital will turn the spotlight on sepsis in the run up to an international awareness day designed to improve care for people with the potentially life-threatening condition.

An animated light show raising awareness of the symptoms people should look out for will be projected onto the Garrett Anderson Centre during the evenings between 11 and 15 September. The initiative will also highlight the importance of seeking medical help fast if you believe someone has developed an infection.

In addition, educational stands and displays will be set up at the hospital and information leaflets given to patients in the run up to World Sepsis Day, which falls on Wednesday 13 September.

The light show has been made possible thanks to the support of Blachere Illuminations, Felixstowe-based Turners Construction, Cozens (UK) Ltd and Sarah Bunney at Just Some Bunny Designs.

Sepsis is triggered when an infection causes an extreme reaction in the body’s immune system. Symptoms include a raised heart rate, shortness of breath, low temperature, chills, muscle pain, confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech and a rash or discoloured skin. The condition can progress to septic shock and multiple organ failure unless it is treated with interventions including intravenous antibiotics.

There are approximately 123,000 cases of sepsis each year in England and around 37,000 people die as a result, which is more than breast and bowel cancer combined.

Anyone can develop sepsis after an injury or minor infection, although people with a weak immune system, those already in hospital, the very young and very old and people who have just had surgery are particularly vulnerable.

Lucy Butler, clinical nurse specialist for the deteriorating patient at Ipswich Hospital, said: “Sepsis is a common illness, but can have very serious consequences if it is left untreated.

“We hope that the activities taking place across the hospital during the week will help raise awareness. The projection in particular will give knowledge to patients, relatives and visitors about what signs and symptoms to look out for. We hope this will in turn allow the public to 'say sepsis' when deciding how unwell their loved ones, or indeed themselves, are before gaining professional help.

“If there are any signs or suspicion of infection, please get help early as it will give you the best chance of making a full recovery.

"The awareness and education will also arm our staff with the right tools to manage sepsis in the most appropriate and efficient way."