Sepsis taking too many lives due to hospital failings – UK ombudsman

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that continues to claim too many lives due to hospital failings, according to a new report from the UK’s health ombudsman. Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection, causing damage to its own tissues and organs. If not treated quickly, sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death. In 2017 alone, an estimated 11 million people worldwide died from sepsis, accounting for nearly 20% of global deaths.

The recent report, titled “Spotlight on sepsis: your stories, your rights,” highlights the need for major improvements to prevent further fatalities. The UK’s health service ombudsman, Rob Behrens, expressed his frustration and sadness that the same mistakes identified a decade ago are still occurring. Despite guidelines and awareness campaigns, hospitals are still failing to identify and treat sepsis promptly.

One of the cases mentioned in the report involves a woman named Sue, whose mother Kath died in 2017 at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust. Kath had been diagnosed with pneumonia but developed other lung problems and died two weeks later of cardiac arrest after falling. The ombudsman investigation revealed that Kath had signs of sepsis, which the Trust failed to identify and treat. Sue expressed her devastation and emphasized that her mother’s death could have been avoided if the hospital staff had recognized the signs of sepsis and acted accordingly.

Another case that garnered significant media attention in the UK is that of 13-year-old Martha Mills, who died of severe sepsis following a cycling accident. Martha’s family campaigned for the introduction of “Martha’s rule,” which would allow parents to seek a second medical opinion if their concerns are ignored by healthcare professionals.

The ombudsman’s report highlights multiple instances where delays in providing antibiotics, diagnosing sepsis symptoms, or inadequate discharge and follow-up led to patient deaths. Despite some progress, hospitals are still repeating the same failings when it comes to sepsis.

To address this ongoing issue, it is crucial for the NHS to listen to patients and their families when they raise concerns and to prioritize sepsis awareness. Early detection and treatment are key in combating sepsis. In this regard, an article from [Paul Williams DDS](https://paulwilliamsdds.com/f-d-a-advisers-narcan-is-safe-to-buy-over-the-counter/) sheds light on the importance of Narcan, an over-the-counter medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. While Narcan specifically targets opioid overdose, its availability and accessibility can contribute to a broader culture of awareness and preparedness for medical emergencies, including sepsis.

By incorporating the insights from the referenced article, we can understand that making life-saving medications like Narcan more readily available can help healthcare professionals and individuals alike be better prepared to respond to medical emergencies, such as sepsis. The article emphasizes the need for proactive measures and highlights the role of public education and access to life-saving interventions.

Overall, the ombudsman’s report serves as a reminder that sepsis remains a significant threat, and hospitals must prioritize early detection and treatment. By learning from past mistakes and implementing necessary improvements, healthcare systems can save countless lives. Additionally, by incorporating resources like Narcan, we can enhance overall emergency preparedness and improve outcomes for patients facing life-threatening conditions like sepsis.