12 days of sepsis: Hospital’s song keeps staff vigilant to spot symptoms of dangerous infection

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 December 2017

Midwives with the sepsis sleigh.

Midwives with the sepsis sleigh.

James Merrell

Hospital staff have composed a festive song as a reminder to look out for the symptoms of a potentially-deadly infection.

Weston General Hospital’s choir, the Sliding Scales, have been singing the 12 Days Of Sepsis this Christmas, to remind staff to be on the look out for anyone exhibiting symptoms.

Sepsis affects 225,000 people a year in the UK, and 44,000 of them die from it. It kills more people a year than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

James Merrell is the hospital’s lead nurse for identifying sepsis, and worked with doctors to write the song.

He said: “The hospital is working really hard training staff to ensure we are treating sepsis quickly when patients do come in.

“The trouble with sepsis is it is quite difficult to spot because a lot of the symptoms are very similar to a lot of other conditions.”

Identifying sepsis is even more difficult in the winter, because so many of the symptoms are flu-like.

James said: “You can get sepsis from a cut on your hand, or from having dental surgery, or a chest infection.

“We are training staff to recognise the symptoms and treat patients within one hour.”

James said the steps to save people’s lives are simple, and the faster sepsis is treated, the better the outcome for patients.

But despite the danger sepsis poses, it is not commonly known about, and many patients diagnosed with it had not heard of it before. The hospital, therefore, is not just training staff but wants to improve people’s awareness of the infection.

James said: “At home, if there is an underlying infection and you are worried they are becoming more unwell, the symptoms are they might feel their heart racing, they might have palpitations, and find their breath is fast or they are struggling for breath.

“They might have a rash, though that is not in all cases, and their speech may be slurred.

“We are asking people to ask that simple question – could it be sepsis?

“We can reverse the effects really quickly if it is identified quickly enough.

“For every hour which goes by and left untreated, the mortality risk goes up by eight per cent an hour.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 17:00

A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:00

The fun and fervour of this year’s carnival may only just have begun to die down, but 50 years ago attention focussed on bringing the event back to Weston’s streets.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:37

Homemade crafts and items were sold in aid of one of Weston’s best-loved sites.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Entries are still being taken for this year’s Turip Prize.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

One of the hottest rising talents on the British music scene will be performing at a gig in Bristol in 2019.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Avon and Somerset police are targeting drivers without insurance as part of a county-wide initiative which started on Monday.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A former teacher who taught at a school in Uphill is hoping to reconnect with former pupils and staff.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:53

A GP practice has agreed to improve safety for its patients in a bid to get the go-ahead to build a surgery.

Read more
Congresbury Yatton
Yesterday, 08:23

There are few stories better known than the birth of Jesus.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:55

A GP practice has agreed to improve safety for its patients in a bid to get the go-ahead to build a surgery.

Read more
Congresbury Yatton

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists