The scale and severity of sepsis is being highlighted in a new campaign lead by a group of health organisations.
The illness, which can be fatal, occurs when the body reacts badly to an infection.
Sepsis puts the body’s immune system into overdrive and can cause fever, chills and rapid heartbeat and breathing.
A joint statement outlines three aims for the campaign: to preserve effective antibiotics for treatment; prevent infection; and improve recognition of and response to severe sepsis.
The campaign involves UK Sepsis Trust, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSac), Antibiotic Action, Royal College of Nursing, Infection Prevention Society, British Infection Association and British Association of Critical Care Nursing.
Spokesman Ron Daniels, who runs the Sepsis Trust, said: “The creation of this coalition will benefit patients now and into the future.
“Until now, the important public messages about sepsis by our member organisations have been disconnected.
“For the first time, leaders in all aspects of infection management have come together to state that the three key domains (urgent treatment of sepsis, prevention of infection, and preservation of antibiotics) are of equal and critical importance.
“This paves the way for reduced infection incidence, better outcomes and ensuring that we have effective antibiotics into the future.”
Nick Brown, president of BSac, said: “Working collaboratively through the coalition will provide much-needed opportunities to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.
“BSac is committed to supporting interventions such as this that improves care and outcomes for patients.”
Laura Piddock, director of Antibiotic Action and public engagement chair of BSac, said: “Until new treatments for bacterial infections are available, appropriate and informed prescribing of antibiotics for sepsis patients is essential.”
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