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Film puts spotlight on recognising signs of sepsis in children

Story of actor Jason Watkins and wife Clara, who lost three-year-old daughter Maude to sepsis, is told in new film

An actor whose three-year-old died from sepsis has described his family's devastating experience to raise awareness of the serious condition among health staff.

Jason_Watkins
Jason Watkins dedicated his BAFTA award to his daughter, who died of sepsis

Jason Watkins’ daughter Maude died at home in her cot from undiagnosed sepsis in 2011 after seeing a GP and two trips to an emergency department.

Jason and his wife Clara appear in a new Health Education England (HEE) film which urges all healthcare professionals caring for sick children to think about sepsis and respond quickly to the warning signs.

Immune system

About 150,000 cases of sepsis, which starts when the immune system over-responds to infection, occur in the UK each year with about 44,000 deaths annually, according to the UK Sepsis Trust.

Mr Watkins, who dedicated his BAFTA award to his daughter in 2015, said: ‘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.’

Recommendations

The film and HEE’s e-learning package follow the recommendations of sepsis guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published earlier this month.

NICE said that suspected sepsis should be treated as urgently as a potential heart attack. The guidance sets out the signs and symptoms that nurses should look out for, and which can be easily missed.

HEE direct of nursing Lisa Bayliss Pratt 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 key parts to play in this, and raising awareness of sepsis among hospital clinicians, general practice and out of hospital practitioners is crucial.’


Further information

HEE Think Sepsis video

NICE sepsis guidance

Clinical update: sepsis

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