Sepsis also known as blood poisoning

Sepsis Awareness Month

13 September 2020 – World Sepsis Day

What is sepsis?

For good reason labelled The Indiscriminate Killer, Sepsis is a potentially life threatening condition caused by the body’s response to infection that many of us believe to be something so tragic and so distant to never be likely to affect us.

The Royal College of Nursing have acknowledged that the number of people developing Sepsis per year is on the rise, with around 123,000 cases per year in England alone and sadly 37,000 deaths associated with the condition. It is even more chilling to learn of research that reveals that approximately 10,000 of these deaths could have been prevented each year.

Due to the prominence of this increase and the lethal nature of the condition, awareness of the types of symptoms to look out for is vitally important, especially following surgery, injury or infection. 

Sepsis happens when the immune system overreacts to an infection or injury and begins to attack the body’s tissues and organs. We have all too often heard of Sepsis being referred to by its trading name of ‘blood poisoning’.

The Sepsis Trust provide a detailed account of the kind of situations in which Sepsis manifest and reveal itself as the body’s response and such situations include chest infections causing pneumonia, urine infections in the bladder, problems in the bowel such as when an ulcer has burst, an apparently simple and innocent cut to the finger, a bite and many more occurrences where skin or body tissue has been broken, ruptured or affected.

The initial symptoms of Sepsis are commonly similar to those of Flu or Gastroenteritis. The symptoms also mimic those of a chest infection. In adults, these symptoms and signs may develop into confusion, slurred speech, blue, blotchy or pale skin, pale and or discoloured lips and tongue, a simple rash or difficult or abnormal breathing.

Sepsis and Medical Negligence

Time and experience has told us that Sepsis can be difficult for any person to identify due to the wide range of possible symptoms, and so it is of crucial importance that those we rely on for our medical care do investigate and diagnose Sepsis promptly to ensure that there is no delay in treatment and such treatment can then be properly monitored and managed.  

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can recognise when a patient has been failed by a medical professional when Sepsis becomes apparent and present. The ways in which such failures might occur include;

  • Failure and or delay of recognising symptoms of Sepsis
  • Failure to provide treatment in a timely manner
  • A medical mistake during surgery causing the patient to develop Sepsis
  • Failure to monitor appropriately

It is the job of our team to support the patient and their families through these very difficult times and to do our upmost to see that these failures are recognised.

Most recently, Laura Bauress who is one of our very experienced Medical Negligence Solicitors, advised and gave legal assistance to a patient whose bowel was injured by mistake during surgery resulting in a leakage into the abdomen and subsequently causing Peritonitis and Sepsis. This then led to multi organ failure and the patient was left in critical condition.  Laura is now supporting the patient with their claim against the negligent hospital.

If you would like to discuss a possible medical negligence claim relating to Sepsis or any other medical failure, please contact one of our medical negligence solicitors on 01925418004 or email