What is Sepsis?
Sepsis, also know as blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, however it can be easily treated if caught early. Symptoms of sepsis will present differently between adults and children.
How do I spot Sepsis?
Sepsis could occur as the result of any infection. There is no one sign for sepsis.
Sepsis is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. Seek medical help urgently if you develop any of the following:
Slurred speech or confusion
Extreme shivering or muscle pain
Passing no urine (in a day)
It feels like you’re going to die
Skin mottled or discoloured
Sepsis in Children
If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours) just ask "could it be sepsis?".
Any child who:
- is breathing very fast
- has a 'fit' or convulsion
- looks mottled, bluish or pale
- has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- feels abnormally cold to touch
might have sepsis. Call 999 and just ask "could it be sepsis?".
Any child under 5 who:
- is not feeding
- is vomiting repeatedly
- hasn't had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours
might have sepsis. If you're worried they're deteriorating call 111 or ask to see your GP.
Download the SAM leaflet (Sepsis Assessment & Management) for more information and a helpful checklist.
Please visit The UK Sepsis Trust for more information and excellent resources.