Region’s ambulance trust backs World Sepsis Day
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
The region's ambulance service is at the forefront of sepsis research and action ahead of World Sepsis Day tomorrow, September 13.
Sepsis, more commonly known as severe blood poisoning, can affect the whole body and its vital organs and is the leading cause of death from infection.
If not treated swiftly, it can prove fatal; more than 44,000 people in the UK die every year from sepsis - which is more than breast and bowel cancer combined.
Tracy Nicholls, head of clinical quality at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and member of the NHS England Cross System Programme Board, has championed the role paramedics can play in saving people from the deadly blood disease.
She said: 'The trust has been integral in the sepsis story for four years now by trialling diagnosis pilots and training staff in the latest tools to help them think about a sepsis diagnosis.
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'Our staff are dedicated and they are doing a really great job – but we all agree there is always more that can be done. We are still seeing between 370 and 400 cases in the region a month and I want us to continue pushing on and continue to raise awareness of this condition.
'We want sepsis to be as high profile as a stroke or heart attack. The key to reducing the prevalence of sepsis is timely recognition and diagnosis, quick administration of antibiotics and the involvement of experts including intensive care specialists – and we play a key role in that.'
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Ms Nicholls has been instrumental in the drive from the ambulance service to promote sepsis awareness across the health sector.
The trust was the first in the country to carry out trials around the diagnosis of sepsis and has shared its learning with others to help improve the care patients receive.