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Written on 26th April 2019 by Tara Pileggi-Byrne

According to The UK Sepsis Trust, every year 52,000 people in the UK die from Sepsis. Those that survive this aggressive infection/illness, can be left with very severe injuries and complications.

Boyes Turner solicitors are medical negligence specialists with experience dealing with cases relating to the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. We have helped many clients and bereaved families who have been affected by life-changing or fatal sepsis obtain compensation for their injuries, including amputations.

Sepsis in the news

The signs and symptoms of sepsis have been regularly highlighted in the news and in social media in recent months and years.

A few years ago, the film Starfish (2016) brought the story of Tom Ray to the screen. Tom rapidly developed the infection and deteriorated over a day. The illness caused him to go into a coma. Although Tom recovered from the potentially life-threatening illness, as a result of it, he required quadruple amputations and facial amputations. Tom’s story highlighted the signs and symptoms of sepsis and the importance of acting quickly to treat it.

Earlier this year, Coronation Street’s Jack Webster developed sepsis after cutting his knee playing football. The storyline raised further awareness of the signs of sepsis in children.

Melissa Mead has campaigned to raise awareness of sepsis following the devastating loss of her 12 month old son, William, in December 2014. William developed sepsis following a chest infection. Melissa is an ambassador for The UK Sepsis Trust and was recently awarded an MBE for her campaign work.

The UK Sepsis Trust have recently announced their partnership with Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation. As part of this, in the future we will be seeing information about sepsis, and how to spot it, on the side of milk cartons sold in Iceland stores. Founder and CEO of The UK Sepsis Trust, Dr Ron Daniels BEM regularly highlights the signs and symptoms of sepsis in both adults and children on social media.

As sepsis claims specialists, the Boyes Turner team see first-hand the life-altering effects sepsis can have and what happens when there is a delay in treatment and we support the efforts of all who are raising awareness of the importance of recognising the signs early so that appropriate treatment can be given.

What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis in children?

Identifying the signs and symptoms in children can be difficult, particularly in young children who may not be able to talk and explain how they are feeling. It is important to be aware of the following signs:

  • fast breathing;
  • fitting or convulsions;
  • mottled, bluish or pale appearance;
  • a rash that does not fade when pressed;
  • lethargy/difficult to wake;
  • abnormally cold to touch.

In children under 5, it is also important to be aware if a child is not feeding, is vomiting repeatedly or has not passed urine or had a wet nappy for 12 hours.

What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis in adults?

The UK Sepsis Trust has provided the following guidance on the signs and symptoms of sepsis:

  • Slurred speech or confusion;
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain;
  • Passing no urine (in a day);
  • Severe breathlessness;
  • It feels like you’re going to die;
  • Skin is mottled or discoloured.

Failure to recognise the signs of sepsis and provide appropriate and timely treatment can be fatal. If you have lost a loved one and have concerns that there may have been a delay in diagnosing and treating sepsis, we can discuss your concerns further and what may be achieved by pursuing a claim.

As solicitors who regularly work alongside families who have lost loved ones, we know that whilst bringing a legal claim cannot change what has happened, it may be a way to obtain information about the treatment the loved one received. And in certain cases, we can help with the inquest process. Where dependent family members have been left without a parent or spouse, compensation can be used to meet ongoing childcare costs, compensate for financial losses and help provide for the future of the family.