Tuesday 17 October 2017

One-in-five people who develop sepsis will die of condition

(stock image)
(stock image)
A four-month waiting period for the treatment of children with scoliosis promised by the end of 2017 will not be met. Stock photo
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Nearly one-in-five patients who develops sepsis dies of the condition, it emerged today.

This is despite a 30 per cent drop in hospital deaths from sepsis in the last five years.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition, triggered by infection, which if untreated causes organ failure.

It led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in University Hospital Galway in 2012.

Following her death new guidelines were introduced to improve the ability of staff of spot the signs and begin treatment.

Speaking at the launch of the HSE’s annual report on sepsis, Dr Vilda Hamilton, HSE National Clinical Lead for Sepsis, said the 30pc fall in the mortality rate is due to better recognition and treatment in our hospitals nationally.

Launching the report Health Minister Simon Harris said: "One of my Department’s chief priorities is to improve patient safety, and tackling sepsis is part of this patient safety agenda. This report shows that Ireland’s sepsis associated hospital mortality rate is now less than 20pc.

“This benchmarks very well internationally and represents a 20pc decrease in mortality since the national clinical guideline on sepsis was published in 2014.

“That is a significant achievement. For staff, it shows their commitment to their patients and for the patients themselves, this is quite literally life saving."

The report outlines that there were over 14,000 cases of sepsis nationally documented last year.  While this represented a 67% increase in cases compared with 2015, Dr Hamilton stressed that the rise was due to greater vigilance, education, awareness and management.

“We have set out to support our clinicians in recognising and diagnosing sepsis early and the data published today clearly illustrates that this is happening.

“This data also provides an evidence base to update the sepsis forms so that patients with a high risk of mortality from sepsis can be identified and receive escalated care."

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