Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that causes 5,000 deaths in Australia each year, yet 40% of Australian’s have never heard of it.
Our aim at Northeast Health is to reduce the stats and improve patient outcomes by introducing a Sepsis Clinical Pathway that will assist our clinical staff to identify the risk factors, signs and symptoms of sepsis in a patient, and to respond quickly with six key actions within the first hour of care.
The Sepsis Clinical Pathway – Think Sepsis, Act Fast has already been launched in our Emergency Department, Critical Care Unit and Surgical Ward with over 200 clinical staff attending education sessions to ensure optimal recognition and management of septic patients. A full-scale rollout across the hospital will follow in the coming months.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning or septicaemia) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection but sometimes it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues.
Anyone can develop sepsis from an infection and if it is not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Signs and symptoms of sepsis
It is important to seek urgent medical help if you develop a combination of the following symptoms:
- rapid breathing
- rapid heart rate
- confusion, slurred speech or disorientation
- fever or shivering
- muscle pain
- not passing urine
- discoloured skin