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Film puts spotlight on recognising signs of sepsis in children

15 July 2016

A new film which aims to help health care professionals to spot and respond to the warning signs of sepsis in children is being launched today.

The short film features the story of Jason and Clara Watkins who tragically lost their daughter Maude aged just three to undiagnosed Sepsis in 2011. The couple share their own personal experiences about the events which led up to the sad loss of their daughter.

The film highlights the key signs that healthcare staff should be looking out for and asks them to think, ‘could this be sepsis’ when assessing and diagnosing patients. Early identification and management is key to spotting and successfully treating sepsis.

As well as providing some helpful steps healthcare workers should take if they suspect that a patient has sepsis, it also highlights the wide range of learning resources that are available to assist with the identification and early management of sepsis in children.

Professor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England 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.

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’.

Whilst aimed at clinical trainers the film contains valuable information for GPs and other clinicians working across both primary and secondary care. It complements an e-learning package on sepsis that HEE’s e-Learning for Healthcare team has developed for GPs and health professionals working across primary care including nurses, health visitors, midwives, pharmacists and paramedics, to be published. 

Both follow the recommendations of the new NICE guideline on sepsis recognition, diagnosis and early management.