A CAMPAIGN to fight a little-known disease which kills tens of thousands of people a year is being supported by a Coventry MP.
Sepsis claims the lives of 37,000 people – including 1,000 children – every year in the UK.
Coventry South Labour MP Jim Cunningham attended a Westminster reception to show his support for World Sepsis Day.
It kills more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.
It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.
Mr Cunningham said: “While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly.
“If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.
“I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public.”
At the reception, the Department of Health welcomed vital steps for healthcare professionals to follow in the case of a dangerous fever – a ‘paediatric toolkit’ designed by the UK Sepsis Trust – in a bid to drive down death rates.
The UK Sepsis Trust also launched a screening tool for healthcare professionals and pocket guide for parents, incorporating the new concept of Red Flag Sepsis in children.
Greater recognition in hospitals and the community could prevent thousands of deaths and save the NHS £160 million annually, says the trust.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: “It’s vital that we tackle this devastating condition, which destroys the lives of hundreds of families each year.
“We’re already making good progress to improve diagnosis – but of course we want to go further. So I welcome this toolkit, which will help NHS staff spot the early signs of sepsis and act quickly with the right treatments, preventing children from needlessly losing their lives to this silent killer.”