Four out of five people do not know the dangers of sepsis
A recent survey found that four out of five people believed that sepsis was less deadly than breast cancer.
The survey carried out by Negligence Claimline asked 500 people which disease they thought caused the most deaths each year in the UK. The choices included: breast cancer, leukaemia, meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis.
A total of 25% placed breast cancer at the top of the list even though according the Sepsis Trust, sepsis results in more deaths than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.
The survey continued to ask what symptoms are associated with sepsis and if respondents could identify the top three, only 26% could.
Dr Nick Kearsley, general practitioner expert witness, said: “Negligence Claimline’s survey highlights the dangers we face when it comes to sepsis. Not only are people unaware of the risks of the condition, many don’t know what symptoms they should be looking for. With the NHS under such pressure it is important people understand how serious this condition is.”
An estimated 37,000 people die each year in the UK due to sepsis whereas only 11,433 die of breast cancer. The condition, which normally presents as blood poisoning, is triggered by infection or injury.
Sepsis is the UK’s second biggest killer, having overtaken lung cancer in 2015. Coronary heart disease is the deadliest condition, causing almost 74,000 deaths per year.
Richard Penn, Senior Solicitor, Hill & Abbott said: “The speed with which sepsis develops makes it extremely difficult to diagnose when it is still relatively easy to treat. Without prompt treatment, the infection can have extremely serious and potentially fatal consequences. Clinical negligence lawyers have seen many cases of missed or delayed diagnosis of sepsis in recent years which is why campaigns to raise awareness of the condition are vital to reducing deaths, illness and indeed the burden of claims against the NHS”.
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