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What emergency nurses should do when assessing sepsis risk in people with learning disabilities

A deteriorating patient with a learning disability can present with the most common triggers for sepsis and it is often up to emergency nurses to recognise them
Picture shows a scene from a video featuring a song called Check Me for Sepsis, performed by the Purple All Stars, a group of people with learning disabilities who use the creative arts to convey health promotion messages.

A deteriorating patient with a learning disability can present with the most common triggers for sepsis and it is often up to emergency nurses to recognise them

Emergency nurses are accustomed to rapid identification and treatment of life-threatening medical emergencies, such as acute coronary syndrome and acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive airways disease.

But these conditions are not the major causes of death among people with a learning disability.

Pneumonia, aspiration pneumonia and sepsis are the biggest causes of death in this population, who are more likely to die at a younger age than the general population.

People with a learning disability who are at greater risk

People with a learning disability who require support with eating, drinking and swallowing are at greater risk of

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