Nurses and staff help raise awareness of fatal condition
MEDICAL staff across South Wales have been raising awareness of a potentially fatal condition, in a bid to save lives.
Nurses in Morriston, Singleton, Neath Port Talbot and the Princess of Wales Hospitals, took part in World Sepsis Day events yesterday.
The aim of the day was to help drive home the message among Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board patients and staff, that early diagnosis of the condition - which is caused by the body overreacting to an infection, attacking its own organs and tissues - can save lives.
It is estimated to cause 1,850 deaths a year in Wales.
As well as information stands being set up in dining areas in the hospitals, ward surveys were carried out, while medical and nursing staff took quizzes on the condition. Talks were also organised for junior medical staff.
ABMU resuscitation officer Mark Dawson said: "We hear of people dying of infections.
"Often it was sepsis. For example, if someone dies of sepsis after being severely burnt, the cause of death is listed as complications due to burns.
"Because sepsis is seldom listed as the cause of death, many people think it isn't a problem. That is one of our biggest concerns, and increasing awareness of sepsis is a major goal."
Symptoms of sepsis include very high or low temperature, a racing heartbeat, rapid breathing and confusion or slurred speech. Skin can also be cold, pale, discoloured or marked.
If the patient has two or more symptoms, they need a doctor. However, if they have lost consciousness or not passed water for more than 18 hours, they are in need of urgent hospital admission.
Among those taking part in the World Sepsis Day events were Morriston Hospital critical care outreach nurses Tracy Owen and Nikki Boyland.
They went around the wards, raising awareness of sepsis among nursing and medical staff, and ensuring they knew about and used the screening tool.
Tracy said: "They were all aware of it and were using it."