System tried in county could save 10,000 lives

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A CAMPAIGN has begun to get a life-saving system tested in West Suffolk adopted nationwide.

Earlier this year, East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) began a pilot with West Suffolk Hospital using an innovative method to identify patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.

In collaboration with UK Sepsis Group chairman Dr Ron Daniels, EEAST was the first ambulance service in the UK to focus specific education on sepsis recognition as a priority.

EEAST clinical general manager Matt Broad said when the trial was launched: “The symptoms of sepsis are what you would expect from any infection – temperature and heart rate increases. The difference with sepsis is that your body’s reaction starts to affect the organs. The body starts to injure itself.

”The idea is to use a written ‘pathway’ to give ambulance crews a step by step approach to checking the symptoms and if they suspect sepsis they run a test on lactate levels in the blood to confirm it.”

Crews can then alert the hospital to the fact a sepsis case is coming in, to ensure the fastest possible treatment.

Now EEAST says that fewer than one in seven sepsis patients get such prompt treatment and that if the systems it has been using was adopted nationwide, it would save about 10,000 lives a year.

Mr Broad said last week: “If the NHS places this high on the care agenda, we know that early sepsis treatment can be cost-effective and reduces hospital and critical care bed days for patients.”

EEAST is hoping to get 100,000 signatures on a petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/19602 to get it discussed in the House of Commons.