Stop sepsis in its tracks

Posted on Fri, 08/09/2017


Staff at QE Gateshead will be getting on their bikes and taking part in a cycling endurance event in a bid to raise awareness of the deadly disease sepsis.

The Cycle for Sepsis event will take place on World Sepsis Day, Wednesday 13th September, 11am-2pm outside of Costa café on level 2 of the Emergency Care Centre.

There will be several exercise bikes set up where staff will take it in turns to pedal as far, and as fast, as they can in a 10-minute slot. It is hoped that this high-profile, fun-filled event will raise the profile of sepsis and make more people aware of its potentially fatal impact.

Jane Flinn, Clinical Nurse Lead for Sepsis at QE Gateshead, said: "Sepsis is a life threatening condition triggered by infection”.  Lives can be saved if the condition is recognised early and prompt treatment given. For every hour's delay in intravenous antibiotics, your mortality from sepsis increases by almost 8%.

We’re working hard to raise awareness of the condition amongst our staff and members of the public. We carry out training sessions across the hospital on how to spot sepsis early through the use of a screening tool and put out regular communications to remind people of the seriousness of this condition. But it’s just as important for patients and their families to know the signs to look out for so they can spot this disease and help us to stop it in its tracks.”

Around 44,000 people in the UK die every year from sepsis - more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. You are more likely to die of sepsis than a heart attack or stroke. In fact, incidence is on the rise by around 1.5% with some of this attributed to an aging population.

Normally, when you contract an infection, your immune system tries to fight it off. But with sepsis, your immune system starts to attack your body instead. Blood pressure can drop to a dangerously low level, vital organs can fail – sepsis can kill.

Sepsis can be treated if it is caught early enough.  The main signs to look out for are: 

  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine in a day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • “I feel like I might die”
  • Skin mottled or discoloured



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