What you need to know about one of the leading causes of death in hospital

Lolita Tu spreads the word about sepsis prevention at Westmead Hospital. 

Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in hospital, which is why Western Sydney Local Health District is spreading the word about the condition as part of World Sepsis Day.

Clinical Quality Program manager Catriona Middleton-Rennie said sepsis can be a very serious condition that can take more lives than the annual road toll.

“Severe sepsis or septic shock is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death,” Catriona said. 

“Approximately 18,000 patients are treated in Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Units each year for severe sepsis, and around 5,000 people die from it.”  

Catriona called on the community to watch the World Sepsis Day video, which arms people with important information about the condition. 

WSLHD has in place pathways in order to manage sepsis at western Sydney hospitals, in conjunction with the Clinical Excellence Commission and as part of the Sepsis Kills program. 

This program aims to improve early recognition and management of severe infection and sepsis in emergency departments and inpatient wards throughout NSW.

Anyone can contract sepsis but the risks are higher for the young, elderly and those with severe trauma or pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and a weaker immune system.

For more information on Sepsis go to http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/patient-safety-programs/adult-patient-safety/sepsis-kills