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Written on 3rd October 2016 by Claire Roantree

Sepsis is a life threatening condition.  It causes 44,000 death per year in Britain.

The UK Sepsis Trust is committed to raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of #Sepsis both with the public, and with medical professionals. We are supporting The UK Sepsis Trust in the work that they do, and are honoured to have recently been asked to become a corporate partner of the charity.

Who knows how things might have been different for Matthew and his family, if they had been aware of the symptoms of #sepsis…

Failure to diagnose sepsis

In August last year, Matthew Parkes and his wife were in Majorca with their four year old daughter when Matthew fell ill.

Matthew, a 39 year old former competitive swimmer, developed a sore throat the day after arriving in Majorca. By the following day, Matthew had pain all over his body, and his wife took him to a local public hospital.

Matthew was already displaying some of the tell tale signs of sepsis including shortness of breath, chills and a fever. Although with hindsight Matthew should have been given antibiotics to fight the infection, he was sent away with diazepam. Matthew had in fact developed pneumonia, triggered by a streptococcus infection, and it started to invade his lungs.

Matthew’s pain got worse and he developed pain in his stomach, chest and back. He recently told the Daily Mail about his experience, reporting a common feeling in sepsis survivors, he felt like he was dying. Matthew’s stomach became badly distended and his skin was purple and blotchy. His breathing remained rapid and he had a high temperature. These are all typical signs of sepsis.

Delay in sepsis diagnosis

Matthew’s wife was so worried she took him to a nearby private hospital, who immediately identified that Matthew was suffering with sepsis.

Matthew was transferred into intensive care in a hospital in Palma for emergency kidney dialysis.

Matthew was then placed into a medical induced coma, and was unconscious for seven weeks.  During that time he was transferred back to Manchester, and admitted to the Wythenshawe Hospital. When Matthew came round, his wife had to break the news to him that both legs would have to be amputated approximately seven inches below the knee.  Matthew also had to have a further operation to remove nearly all of the fingers and a third of the palm of his left hand.

Both Matthew and Pamela had never heard of sepsis before Matthew was taken ill.  Speaking to the Daily Mail recently they said “..if we’d known then what we know now, perhaps we’d have spotted the signs and asked doctors to check for it”.

Matthew has recently added his voice and his story to that of Melissa Mead, whose one year old son William tragically died from sepsis in 2014.