The 13th of September is World Sepsis Day, with people and organisations worldwide organising events to raise awareness for sepsis. The day was initiated by the Global Sepsis Alliance over a decade ago as a way of annually acknowledging this debilitating condition.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. The role of the body’s immune system is to fight bacteria, fungi and viruses but sometimes, this mechanism ceases to work properly, instead turning on the body itself. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
What are the Symptoms?
- Severe breathlessness
- A high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
- A change in mental state – like confusion or disorientation
- Slurred speech
- Cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin
- A fast heartbeat
- Fast breathing
What are the Causes?
Any type of infection can lead to sepsis. This includes bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Those that more commonly cause sepsis include infections of:
- Lungs, such as pneumonia
- Kidney, bladder and other parts of the urinary system
- Digestive system
- Catheter sites
- Wounds or burns
In some circumstances, patients who are diagnosed with sepsis may have originally become infected during a hospital stay, perhaps during a medical or surgical procedure. This may be due to poor sterilisation of surgical instruments, lack of hygiene, or placing vulnerable patients in close proximity with patients likely to pass infection. Read more on the causes of sepsis and what might constitute sepsis medical negligence.
Irish Sepsis Foundation
In Ireland, the Irish Sepsis Foundation are Ireland’s only dedicated charity organisation raising public awareness for sepsis and its inherent risks. The non-profit charity organisation was founded in September 2022 by barrister Doireann O’Mahony to help improve the lives of survivors of sepsis in the Republic of Ireland.
The foundation strives to educate healthcare professionals, raise public awareness and provide support for those affected by this devastating condition nationwide.
For Further Information
For further further information, or should you need to speak to a solicitor about any sepsis related symptoms or making a claim for sepsis medical negligence in Ireland, please contact Avril Scally, Partner and Head of our award-winning Medical Negligence Team.