What kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined?

Friday, 12 February, 2016


What kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined?

Last month’s news widely reported fresh concerns that sepsis is not being spotted or treated early enough.

Although sepsis is a massive killer, training seems void of such an important subject. The number one qualification awarded to over 300,000 learners each year is the Emergency First Aid. This qualification focuses on the main, life threatening subjects but not sepsis. This is especially of concern if you consider that a person with a severe form of sepsis is up to five times more likely to die than a patient with a heart attack or stroke.

This is where the AOFAQ Level 3 Award in First Person on Scene is positioned. The Level 3 represents the more ‘Autonomous’ nature of the responder, this new regulated qualification consists of 16 major learning outcomes including the recognition features of red flag sepsis in the pre hospital care setting. This qualification is further clinically endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Faculty of Pre-hospital (FPHC) Care

To promote Sepsis awareness the Association of First Aiders will shortly be announcing a free Webinar on this highly important subject

Sepsis is seen as difficult to diagnose as it can have a number of faces but there some basic indications which we can all understand and use. And there is an easy mnemonic to remember it by: SEPSIS –

S: Slurred Speech.

E: Extreme shivering or muscle pain.

P: Passing no urine (in a day).

S: Severe breathlessness.

I: “I feel like I might die”

S: Skin mottled or discoloured.

Sepsis happens when the body's immune system goes into overdrive when responding to bugs and germs. When the immune system overreacts it leads to an unintended but catastrophic attack on the body. Untreated it can set of a cascade of reactions from shock to organ failure and death.

An NHS England report suggests in 2014, more than 123,000 people suffered from sepsis, whilst the  National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death(NCEPOD) published in November 2015, says sepsis kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined in the UK. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said around 12,000 sepsis deaths a year may be avoidable.

Although many current guidelines include the assessment and management of sepsis in specific subgroups within their remit, most do not provide guidance for all healthcare professionals in any situation to assess whether sepsis is present, and to guide initial assessment and treatment.

A recent enquiry undertaken by the NCEPOD enquiry says there has been poor recording of patients' vital signs - their blood pressure and pulse for example - in both primary and hospital care. The report recommends more doctors and nurses use early warning systems and screening checklists to prompt them to check for signs of sepsis.

For further information contact AoFAQualifications on 01908 610093 or go to: http://aofaqualifications.org/


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