Over the last five years we have made terrific strides in improving the awareness, recognition and treatment of patients with suspected sepsis. When we say ‘we’, we're talking about patients, their families, and health and care professionals who have all become more vigilant in ‘thinking sepsis’ and have worked together to advance the sepsis agenda. This collaboration has enabled a sustained, national improvement in screening and treatment from 50%, to 90% within one hour of deterioration.
But, we must be relentless in our ambition – the work must continue. Infections that can lead to sepsis are responsible for 40% of emergency admissions and are the admission reason for two thirds of hospital deaths. As the population ages and lives with ever increasing comorbidities, the threat of sepsis also grows. This, coupled with the growing threat of antibiotic resistance means we must carefully balance expedient treatment with antibiotic stewardship.
Whilst we still strive for a ‘sepsis test’ and standard definition, we must acknowledge the progress we have made in both measuring response, and crucially, outcomes through the Suspicion of Sepsis Insight Dashboard. The Dashboard has enabled clinicians, for the first time, to assess the impact of sepsis improvement programmes and determine the interventions that are working, and disseminate them everywhere. It’s also an example of what can be achieved through cross-system collaboration.
Sepsis remains a challenging diagnosis to make, particularly in the urgent care setting, and for us to make further inroads into its improvement, we must be consistent and reliable at spotting a sick and deteriorating patient and then considering if sepsis might be present. Enter the National Early Warning Score, or NEWS2. We must support the implementation of NEWS2 in our workplaces and across the system. It provides us with a standardised language of sickness that healthcare professionals at every level can use and recognise to identify those at risk of sepsis.
The efforts and progress made in sepsis improvement through our collaborations is terrific but there is still a lot more work to do. At the conference you will hear more from colleagues and partners from across the system on the points I have touched on here. We are united in our ambition to improve outcomes and save lives – a joined up approach will help all of us realise this goal!
We are currently offering tickets at £99 inc. VAT (usual cost £150 inc. VAT) to members of BAPM. If you would like to attend at this cost, please contact us directly on 01616 964868.
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