Lifesaving achievements marked at World Sepsis Day celebration

Posted: September 13, 2016

Eighty per cent of patients now survive life threatening infection

Eighty per cent of patients identified with sepsis at the Great Western Hospital make a full recovery from the often life-threatening infection.
The news comes as Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust prepares to mark World Sepsis Day on Wednesday 14 September.
In recent years the Trust has taken a proactive approach to tackling sepsis and is now considered one of the top Trusts in the country for rapidly identifying and treating the condition, which is caused by a previous infection or injury.
Often referred to as septicaemia or blood poisoning, sepsis occurs when the body's immune system goes into overdrive and begins to attack itself.
Since 2014, the lives of more than 220 patients with sepsis have been saved by the quick decision making of staff at the Swindon hospital.
Diagnosing sepsis can often be difficult and time intensive as its symptoms, such as fever, vomiting and nausea, are similar to those of other medical conditions.
However, thanks to the introduction of a dedicated sepsis team and an increased Trust-wide awareness of the Sepsis Six (a set of clinical steps which can greatly speed up the identification of the condition), more patients than ever before are surviving.
Nic Lythell, Specialist Nurse Practitioner, said: "With sepsis, speed is paramount. An early diagnosis can often be the difference between life and death for some patients.
"We're lucky at the Great Western Hospital that we have the skilled people and the tested systems in place to spot it at the very first opportunity, something still in development at other NHS hospitals.
"World Sepsis Day is fantastic as it's a chance for us to not only celebrate our achievements but share our learning with other members of staff who might be less familiar with the signs, symptoms and treatment of sepsis.
"There is a real willingness to learn among staff at GWH and it's only through continual learning that we can carry on fighting sepsis and ultimately saving lives."
Last year, the sepsis team won the national Health Business Award for Patient Safety in light of the progress made in tackling sepsis.
Their work forms a crucial part of the Trust's 500 Lives campaign, which aims to save an extra 500 lives by the year 2020.
First launched in September of last year, 500 Lives encapsulates all safety and quality projects taking place at the Great Western Hospital.
For more information on sepsis and 500 Lives, visit

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