Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

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Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s own immune response to an infection injures tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.
It is considered difficult to diagnose and as a result, it can be missed by family members and professionals.
Sepsis kills around 44,000 people in the UK each year and people are at risk during the winter months as sepsis can occur as a result of winter infections such as flu.
The condition can affect anyone and mostly kills adults, but young children and older people are especially vulnerable owing to weaker immune systems.
It is important that everyone recognises the signs and takes the appropriate action, whether this is calling NHS111, seeing their GP, or, if in the more acute stages of the illness, call 999 or go to A&E. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution and speak to a health professional.
Parents should call 999 or go to A&E if their child is:                       
  • breathing very fast
  • has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • has a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it
  • is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch
If your child is under five and isn’t feeding, is vomiting repeatedly, hasn’t passed urine or wet nappy for 12 hours, parents should call 111 or see their GP.
For more information about the signs and symptoms of sepsis visit

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