Auburn learns more about life-threatening sepsis

A Pink Picnic greeted visitors to Auburn Hospital this afternoon in order to raise awareness of sepsis.

It’s the silent killer that claims thousands of Australian lives every year.

Auburn Hospital staff have dedicated this week to learning about sepsis, a medical emergency caused by your body’s own attempts to fight an infection.

Early detection is crucial to managing the complication, which can result loss of limbs, organ failure or death if left untreated. The problem is that early symptoms can often be mistaken for the flu.

Auburn Hospital nurse educator Tracey Brown organised six learning sessions this week to help staff better understand the condition, with the overall theme ‘always think sepsis’ to encourage early diagnosis.

Clinical nurse educator Jefferson Deray and nurse educator Tracey Brown (front) ran one of the staff education sessions on Thursday.

The hospital also hosted a Pink Picnic today to improve public understanding.

“Our understanding of sepsis has really improved in recent years and it’s important we share that knowledge to improve patient care,” Tracey said.

“Everyone has a role to play in knowing the signs so we can stop sepsis and save lives.”

Auburn Hospital clinical nurse educator Jefferson Deray delivered one of the educational sessions, dedicated to victims and survivors of sepsis including six-year-old Australian Mia Wilkinson.

Mia’s diagnosis started with the flu in October 2017, but her condition quickly deteriorated to the point that doctors needed to partially amputate all four limbs to save her life. Her emotional journey was recently featured on Channel 7’s Sunday Night True Stories.

Auburn Hospital nurse educators involved in sepsis training this week included (from left) Japhet Vailoces, Clyde Sy, Dora Szeto, Jefferson Deray, Tracey Brown, Carrie Zhang and Julie Smith.

Jefferson encouraged people to be aware of the signs of sepsis using a simple acronym:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine all day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call triple-0 immediately.