Charity forces government U-turn on sepsis

Crop health secretary meets with founder of sepsis charity feat

Craig Stobo of Feat meeets health secretary Shona Robison

A charity has won a major victory after causing a Scottish Government U-turn on a life saving campaign

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29th September 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A charity has won a major victory after causing a Scottish Government U-turn on a life saving campaign.

Health minister Shona Robison announced that an information and awareness drive on sepsis will be launched – just three weeks after saying such a move was not “necessary at this time".

The announcement came after Robison met with the Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust (Feat).

It was set up by Craig Stobo after his wife – a GP from Bo’ness – died from the condition five years ago.

Sepsis, also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, kills about 3,500 people every year in Scotland and is caused when the immune system overreacts to infection.

Robison said: "The Scottish Government has always been committed to raising awareness of the dangers of sepsis and this meeting was an important step in formalising our plans for a dedicated campaign.

"I was delighted to meet with Feat and to discuss next steps. It is clear from our meeting that a marketing and awareness campaign is a sensible next step.

"While mortality rates have fallen by 21% since 2012, there's still more to be done. I hope our campaign will play its part in equipping the public with a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of this awful condition."

Craig Stobo said Feat welcomed the health secretary's announcement: "This will help raise people's awareness of this major public health issue, save lives and improve patients' outcomes," he said.

"This is just the beginning of a long road ahead.

"We look forward to working further with the Scottish Government to consolidate the recent, welcome fall in deaths from sepsis; with a focus on continuous improvement to ensure there is safe, consistent care for all sepsis patients across Scotland."

Details of the campaign are yet to be finalised but radio, press and outdoor advertising are expected to reach 1.2 million people.

Sepsis - the facts

Charity forces government U-turn on sepsis

Sepsis is the body's reaction to an infection.

It starts with an infection that can come from anywhere - even a contaminated cut or insect bite.

Normally, your immune system kicks in to fight the infection and stop it spreading.

But if the infection manages to spread quickly round the body, then the immune system will launch a massive immune response to fight it.

This can also be a problem as the immune response can have catastrophic effects on the body, leading to septic shock, organ failure and even death.

Sepsis needs to be spotted and treated quickly, usually with antibiotics, before it spreads.

Symptoms to look out for are slurred speech, extreme shivering or muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.