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HEE release new film to raise awareness of sepsis in children

18 July 2016

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Health Education England (HEE) has released a film to help health care workers spot and respond to the warning signs of sepsis in children.

The short film features the story of Jason and Clara Watkins whose daughter, Maude, died aged three to undiagnosed sepsis in 2011.

The film highlights the key signs that healthcare staff should be on the look out for and asks them to consider sepsis when assessing and diagnosing patients.

HEE emphasises that early identification and management is key to successfully treating sepsis.

The film falls in line with recent guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, advising symptoms of sepsis to be treated with the same urgency as symptoms of a heart attack.

Jason Watkins, who is featured in the film, said: “Time is of the essence. Sepsis should be highlighted at the very top of the list of possible causes of illness by health professionals. It must be the first thing to be crossed off the list.  Awareness works. We must all ‘Think sepsis’.”

The film also highlights learning resources healthcare workers can use to help them identify sepsis early in children.

Professor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality at HEE, said: “Early detection is key to saving lives. There have been a number of cases, some high profile, where either a delay in recognising the symptoms of sepsis or not providing the appropriate treatment has led to avoidable patient harm which in some instances has led to tragic outcomes for patients and their loved ones.

“Both primary and secondary care have a key part to play in this and raising awareness of sepsis amongst hospital clinicians, general practice and out of hospital practitioners is crucial.

“We sincerely hope this film will provide support in helping to do just that for all those involved in treating and caring for people with the symptoms of sepsis. I strongly urge all frontline practitioners to watch this film to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of sepsis in order to treat and care effectively for the patients that we are all here to serve.”