FIVE people lose their life every hour in the UK to a condition which has left even the most experienced doctors and scientists confused.

There’s no rhyme or reason to this condition when it chooses its victims, but it leaves one in four of every survivor with life-changing effects.

But awareness is being spread like wildfire for the condition which can be treated with antibiotics if caught earlier.

World Sepsis Day takes place today (Thursday, September 13) in an attempt to unite the world in the fight against sepsis.

Events take place across the world in a bid to raise awareness and save lives with early recognition.

According to World Sepsis Day organisers, the condition can also be treated by vaccination and clean care. Early recognition and treatment can reduce the mortality rate by 50 per cent.

Sepsis is only known to seven-50 of people worldwide, and this lack of knowledge makes sepsis the number one preventable cause of death worldwide.

Sepsis is defined as the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury.

Normally the immune system fights infection, but sometimes, for reasons not yet understood, the body can attack its own organs and tissues.

If it’s not treated quickly, sepsis can result in organ failure or even death.

There’s no one sign or symptom for sepsis, which makes it hard to detect.

At Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership hospitals across the county, work is being done to make sure those at risk of sepsis are screened when they enter the hospital.

Patients at risk are screened in the emergency department using a ‘sepsis six’ marking score, with other patients throughout the hospital monitored with national guidelines.

The team say the increased national coverage of sepsis has helped medical staff to recognise it early, and simplified definitions has improved communication between different hospitals and health trusts.

Yeovil Express:

ACTION: Pippa Richards, lead nurse for sepsis

Pippa Richards, lead nurse for sepsis at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “It’s an overwhelming inflammatory response which becomes severe, and the body can react negatively towards it. It can cause issue such as kidney failure or loss of limbs.

“The terminology has changed now. It’s much more simple and understandable.

“It’s all about asking the question ‘could it be sepsis?’.

“It’s not just about the doctors and nurses, we encourage health care assistants to spot the signs, too, whether they are working in a hospital or a nursing home.

“It’s about the whole team, letting everyone know, including family members, that it’s okay to ask the question.”

Work is being done at community facilities and other hospitals in the county from Somerset Partnership.

Liz Berry, sepsis lead for Somerset Partnership, said: “We have new guidelines now that ask ‘could it be sepsis’ called the National Early Warning Score (NEWS).

“Our role is to help the staff identify it early, then we can prevent it.

“Not all deterioration of a patient is sepsis, but around 50 per cent of our unplanned transfers from the community hospitals is infection or sepsis related. Early recognition can reduce the risk of cardiac arrest.

“It’s becoming part of the woodwork, there’s a universal understanding of it.”

Yeovil Express:

SURVIVOR: Alice Bennett, 25, from Bridgwater, who developed sepsis after having her wisdom teeth removed

Alice Bennett, 25, from Bridgwater, unexpectedly developed sepsis after having her wisdom teeth removed.

The young woman was taken to hospital in April 2017 after having all four of her back teeth taken out during a routine procedure.

Her symptoms progressively worsened after returning home from the operation, and medical staff at Musgrove Park Hospital had to put her into a coma and pierce holes into her neck to reduce the swelling and allow her to breath.

“I was feeling really tired and lethargic,” she said. “then later my face swelled up so we went to hospital and I was given antibiotics, but we returned later that night because I couldn’t open my mouth.

“My airways had closed over.

“I don’t remember much but they had to put incisions in my neck and I was put into an induced coma for four days.”

Since battling sepsis, Alice, a beauty therapist, has made a full recovery, but will live with the scars on her neck from the incisions which saved her life.

“I hate them,” she added. “I get self conscious about them but I have to remember they are war wounds, there’s a story behind them.”

After having sepsis, a person is more susceptible to getting in again. Alice lives in fear that it could return again if she was to injure herself or have a medical procedure, but she has used this to drive her to raise awareness of sepsis.

While she was working at a salon, she held a coffee morning which raised £500 and she plans to continue raising awareness for the illness which nearly took her life.

The UK Sepsis Trust’s first Somerset sepsis support group is taking place on Wednesday September 19 from 6.30 – 8.30pm, at The Hall, Children’s Services – Drove Road, Weston Super Mare, BS23 3NT. The aim is for the group to rotate between Taunton, Weston Super Mare and Yeovil. For more information, contact support@sepsistrust.org.