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WATCH: Campaign to help parents spot deadly condition

WATCH: Campaign to help parents spot deadly condition

Published at 6:42pm 15th December 2016. (Updated at 6:45pm 15th December 2016)

Health bosses in Yorkshire are urging parents to look out for signs of sepsis.

It's a rare but serious complication of an infection and can lead to multiple organ failure and death if it isn't treated quickly.

The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and around 37,000 deaths in England each year.

A new awareness campaign, which is mainly targeting parents and carers of children aged 0 to 4, includes a film featuring Melissa Mead, who lost her baby son, William, to sepsis in December 2014.

Melissa said: "Sepsis is a cruel, ruthless condition which doesn't discriminate and can affect anyone. I hope this campaign reaches as many people as possible, so all parents out there know about sepsis and how serious it can be.

"The more parents know, the quicker they can act if they suspect their child may be suffering from sepsis - it could be life-saving.

"I will never hear my sweet child say 'mummy I love you'. I will never know the man that William would have grown to be. So please, it is too late for me to 'think sepsis', but it's not too late for you."

Dr Mike Gent, Deputy Director of Health Protection for Public Health England in Yorkshire and the Humber, added: "We know that acting quickly in cases of sepsis can save a child's life and it is important parents have the information to take action.

"This campaign gives parents vital information about sepsis, helps them identify the symptoms of sepsis, and encourages them to seek the appropriate medical attention."

Leaflets and posters will urge parents to dial 999 or take their child to A&E if they display any of the following signs:

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale.
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake.
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch.
  • Is breathing very fast.
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it.
  • Has a fit or convulsion.

The campaign comes on top of measures already taken by the NHS to improve early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis.

A national scheme has been introduced to make sure at-risk patients are screened for sepsis as quickly as possible and receive timely treatment when they're admitted to hospital.

Health Education England is also working with the NHS to make sure that all health professionals have the knowledge and skills to identify and treat sepsis.

More information at www.nhs.uk/sepsis and www.sepsistrust.org