Parents in Wolverhampton are being urged to be aware of the deadly signs of sepsis to protect young children and potentially save lives.

A nationwide campaign was launched today (Thursday 15 December, 2016) by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0 to 4.

Sepsis, also referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia, is a potentially life threatening condition triggered by an infection or injury. The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and around 37,000 deaths each year in England.

The campaign urges parents to call 999 if their child:

  • 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.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Sepsis is an awful condition. Acting quickly can save a child's life and so it is very important parents are aware of the symptoms and what action they should take.

"Parents and clinicians alike could help save thousands of lives every year if they just ask: 'could it be sepsis?'"

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Sepsis is a devastating condition that we need to far get better at spotting it across the NHS. By raising awareness and improving clinical practice we will save lives in the fight against this horrible illness."

The campaign, delivered by Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust, comes on top of a number of measures already taken by the NHS to improve early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis, including a national scheme to make sure at risk patients are screened for sepsis as quickly as possible and receive timely treatment on admission to hospital.

For further information on sepsis, visit Type=links;Linkid=7852;Title=NHS Choices - Sepis;Target=_blank; or Type=links;Linkid=7853;Title=The UK Sepsis Trust;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 15 December, 2016