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A guide to Sepsis

Date issued: March 2022

Review date: March 2024

Ref: A-401 v3

PDF:  a guide to sepsis final March 2022 v3.pdf [pdf] 251KB

A guide to Sepsis

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is caused when an infection you are fighting gets much worse. You may have been ill for a while or just had an operation. 
Sepsis is known as a complication of an infection.

There are different things to look out for. These are called symptoms

• A high temperature or fever
• Chills and shivering
• Fast heartbeat
• Fast breathing

Get help straight away!

If you have been unwell for a while, your infection seems no better and you are showing any of the symptoms on page 1 it is important to phone 111 for advice straight away. 111 is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

In very bad cases people can

• Get confused
• Feel sick or vomit
• Urinate (wee/pee) less
• Feel cold, clammy or go pale
• Get strong muscle pain

Diagnosing sepsis

If your doctor thinks you have sepsis they will need to check your:
• Temperature
• Heart rate
• Breathing rate

Treating sepsis

If caught early enough people can be treated at home with antibiotics.
If the person is very poorly they will need to go into hospital.
When found quickly enough sepsis can be treated and the person will recover (feel better) soon.
Sepsis is a dangerous condition that can kill people so it’s important to get advice.

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