Timely sepsis treatment essential

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Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition if not detected and treated quickly. National guidelines advise that anti-biotics should be administered within an hour of sepsis being suspected.

Diane Rostron

It was announced in February that a new sepsis test, which promises to diagnose the potentially life-threatening condition within three minutes, would be available on the NHS within the next three to five years.

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, sepsis kills 52,000 people per year. National guidelines set out by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) advise that medical professionals should provide antibiotics to patients even before a sepsis diagnosis is confirmed.

Leading medical negligence specialist Diane Rostron said: “Sepsis is perfectly treatable with a course of antibiotics.

"A missed, or delayed, diagnosis however, can have devastating effects with the infection developing into widespread damage which can mean multiple organ failure. It’s extremely painful for patients if left untreated and ultimately, can lead to a preventable death.

“The symptoms of sepsis can be similar to other conditions however, the NICE guidelines are very clear – antibiotics must be given even if sepsis is suspected and yet to be formally diagnosed. One of our clients was admitted to his local hospital as a priority patient with clear sepsis symptoms.

“He was left for several days while still in hospital as this deadly condition took hold and eventually affected multiple organs. He suffered a lot of pain during this time while his partner had to witness his deterioration leading to his untimely death in his mid-40s. It is really incredibly hard for families who have suffered this type of loss, particularly in the knowledge that it was entirely avoidable.”

It currently takes up to 72 hours to diagnose sepsis.

The symptoms in adults include:


• A high temperature

• Chills and shivers

• A fast heartbeat

• Fast breathing


• Dizziness or feeling faint

• Confusion or disorientation

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhoea

• Not passing water over a prolonged period

• Cold, clammy, pale or mottled skin

Diane Rostron and her specialist team of medical and legal specialists have represented families for more than 20 years, including several recent sepsis cases.

To read more about the sepsis cases the team have acted on, visit the website at or contact the friendly team on 01253 766 559.

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