Dedication to sepsis helps 90 per cent to full recovery

Posted: February 10, 2017

Lifesaving work at the Great Western Hospital

Latest statistics have revealed that nearly 90 per cent of patients at the Great Western Hospital make a full recovery from the potentially fatal infection sepsis.
Between October and December 2016, the hospital's dedicated sepsis team gave lifesaving treatment to 287 patients, with 87 per cent going on to survive the diagnosis.
Sepsis occurs when the body's immune system begins to attack itself after fighting a previous infection or injury.
It currently claims more lives each year than that of bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

"More people surviving than ever before"

In recent years the early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, both of which greatly improve a person's chance of survival, have been among the Trust's key priorities.
The latest performance can be linked directly to the introduction of the new Acute Sepsis and Kidney (ASK) team who provide medics with practical support and expert advice on treating the life threatening condition.
Dr Amanda Pegden, Acute Medical Consultant, leads the new team and said: "This group of specialist doctors and nurses make sure people suffering from sepsis and other serious conditions, such as acute kidney injury, get the care they need and fast.
"Although sepsis is one of the biggest causes of death in the UK, the signs and symptoms can still go undetected.
"Fortunately, the team at GWH are experts at what they do and because of them more people than ever before are surviving."
More than 77 per cent of patients in the last three months of 2016 benefited from the Sepsis Six - a set of globally recognised medical interventions designed to put the brakes on sepsis before it really takes hold.
Dr Pegden continued: "We're keen for this excellent work to continue throughout 2017 and there are plans in place to make the ASK team an instantly recognisable force across as many of our wards and departments as possible." 

Spreading the message through song 

With the number of sepsis cases rising each year, staff from all corners of the hospital have been keen to get behind the campaign and raise as much awareness as possible.
Even the Great Western Harmony choir have got involved, with the singers translating the steps of the Sepsis Six to the tune of Petula Clark's 1964 hit Downtown.
Dr Pegden approached Universal Music Group in California for permission to use the classic song's melody, with the global recording giant only too happy to help the team with their campaign.
A music video for the track, filmed on location at GWH and featuring all members of the musical ensemble, can be seen on the Trust's YouTube channel.

And with a busy calendar of upcoming events, the new song has been added to the choir's song sheet for their performances across Wiltshire in 2017.
The work happening around sepsis is a key component of 500 Lives - the Trust's vision of saving an extra 500 lives by 2020 through the continual provision of high quality care and pioneering medical treatments.
For more information on sepsis and 500 Lives, visit

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