Getting clued up on sepsis could save your life says county councillor - The Evesham Observer

Getting clued up on sepsis could save your life says county councillor

Evesham Editorial 11th Nov, 2023   0

THE FORMER leader of Worcestershire County Council has encouraged residents to become ‘sepsis savvy’ and learn more about its symptoms following his personal battle with the life-threatening illness.

Coun Adrian Hardman was diagnosed with sepsis last year after a minor scratch on his right leg, led to an infection.

Whilst he was seeking treatment for his initial infection on his leg, Coun Hardman became severely unwell with flu-like symptoms, a high temperature, confusion and a severe lack of energy – at no point did he think the symptoms could be linked back to the cut he had sustained a few weeks before.

“I’m extremely grateful for my daughter calling in to visit me when she did, and that she insisted on calling for an ambulance. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story,” he said.

“I would have carried on resting and trying to recover from what I was certain was flu. I just didn’t link or even consider the bacterial infection in my leg had gone into my bloodstream, or I had an elevated heart rate and very low blood pressure which is typical of Sepsis.”

Unfortunately, the infection continued to develop, leading the former County Hall chief to spend an initial two and a half weeks in hospital. He is still receiving follow-up treatment to this day.




He added: “It is so important to know your cuts and how they are healing, and how you are feeling in yourself. After two and a half weeks in hospital, I couldn’t believe how weak I felt once I left hospital, but also how lucky I’d been. My situation could have been so much worse.”

Coun Karen May, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “Sepsis has been renamed in recent years, it used to be called blood poisoning or septicaemia. It’s the way the body responds to an infection.


“You really can save someone’s life by knowing what to look out for and remembering to ‘Just Ask: could it be sepsis?’ If you’re concerned about someone, if you spot any of the signs, don’t hesitate, call 999 or go straight to A&E.”

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, in the UK alone, 245,000 people are affected by sepsis every year, with at least 48,000 losing their lives to sepsis related conditions. This is more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.

Locally in Worcestershire, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics in 2021 showed there were 6,834 deaths caused by Sepsis. There are around 1,100 Sepsis related attendances at A&E in Worcestershire every year.

As a former employee in the agricultural sector, Coun Hardman is also in full support of the recent awareness campaign the National Farmers Union and the UK Sepsis Trust have carried out.

People in the farming community are more susceptible to sepsis as they are more likely to cut themselves, fall or have a crush injury due to the nature of their work. They also risk a stick injury through using needles to vaccinate animals.

Visit sepsistrust.org/about/about-sepsis or www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/ for more on the illness.

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