Help spot signs of sepsis and save lives

Mother holding baby  and typing on laptop computer in kitchen.
Mother holding baby and typing on laptop computer in kitchen.

A campaign to help parents spot the symptoms of sepsis to protect young children and save lives has been launched.

The campaign is principally aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0-4 and will include a new film featuring mother and campaigner Melissa Mead, who lost her baby son William to sepsis in December 2014.

The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and around 37,000 deaths each year in England.

Millions of leaflets and posters are being sent to GP surgeries and hospitals across the country from tomorrow. These materials, developed with the Royal Colleges, will urge parents to call 999 or take their child to A&E if they display any of the following signs:

*Looks mottled, bluish or pale

*Is very lethargic or difficult to wake

*Feels abnormally cold to touch

*Is breathing very fast

*Has a rush that does not fade when you press it

*Has a fit or convulsion

Dr Jane Rossini Deputy Director for PHE North West said: “We know that acting quickly in cases of sepsis can save a child’s life and it is important parents have the information to take action. This campaign gives parents vital information and helps them identify the symptoms of sepsis and encourages them to seek the appropriate medical attention.”

Campaign supporter and UK Sepsis trust ambassador Melissa Mead said:“Sepsis is a cruel, ruthless condition which doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone. I hope this campaign reaches as many people as possible, so all parents out there know about sepsis and how serious it can be. The more parents know, the quicker they can act if they suspect their child may be suffering from sepsis – it could be life-saving.

“I will never hear my sweet child say ‘mummy I love you’. I will never know the man that William would have grown to be. So please, it is too late for me to ‘think sepsis’, but it’s not too late for you.”

For further information on sepsis, visit nhs.uk/sepsis or www.sepsistrust.org