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Always remember to ask yourself: ‘could this be sepsis’?

Sepsis survivor and former nurse practitioner’s message to healthcare professionals

Sepsis survivor and former nurse practitioner’s message to healthcare professionals


Jayne Carpenter out with her dog. Picture: Caters News

A former nurse who lost three limbs after developing sepsis has urged all health professionals to be aware of the signs to help save lives.

Jayne Carpenter spent nine weeks in a coma as a result of the life-threatening condition in 2016. Surgeons had to remove her lower legs, a lower arm and four fingers to save her life.

Raising money to pay for prosthetic limbs

Now, she has begun a £265,000 fundraising bid for a pair of prosthetic legs and related surgery that she hopes will transform her life. The prosthetic legs Ms Carpenter wants are not available on the NHS, so she needs to raise funds privately. 

Ms Carpenter, from South Wales, who was working as a band 6 nurse practitioner in an orthopaedic pre-op assessment clinic when she became ill, said: 'There is a crucial, simple question for healthcare professionals. Just ask: “could this be sepsis?”. This could save a life. 

‘I didn’t feel it was a medical emergency and I didn't want to make a fuss’

'Awareness of sepsis could mean the difference between life and death.'

The first sign of sepsis was a chest infection

At the beginning of her illness, Ms Carpenter only had a cough, which she thought must be a chest infection.

But when she became short of breath and had difficulty walking, an out-of-hours GP advised her to go to the emergency department.

'I didn't feel it was a medical emergency and I didn't want to make a fuss,' she said.

Deterioration led to the sepsis diagnosis

Following an initial diagnosis of pneumonia, Ms Carpenter's condition deteriorated and she was then diagnosed with severe sepsis.

Ms Carpenter, who had to give up her nursing career following her illness, has since retrained and now works part-time as a paralegal medical secretary.

'It has been life-changing, but I try and take positives out of the negatives,' she said.

Read our sepsis resource 


Further information

Visit Ms Carpenter's fundraising page


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