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Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust nurse welcomes national sepsis guidelines

SFH corporate matrol Julian Newell


A senior Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust nurse, who helped develop national best-practice guidance for treating sepsis, has welcomed publication of a major report into the potentially fatal condition.

New guidelines from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) urge doctors and nurses to consider sepsis early on when assessing any patient with infections and, if identified, treat the condition as urgently as they would a heart attack.

Initial symptoms – including rapid breathing or feeling generally unwell - can be vague, making it difficult to distinguish from other conditions.

Julian Newell, Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ corporate matron and a member of NICE’s sepsis clinical guidance development group, said early recognition is “absolutely fundamental” in successful treatment.

“Understanding of the condition has improved a lot over the past 15 years, and this new guidance is an important step as it brings together the latest international evidence.

“At Sherwood Forest Hospitals all our existing doctors and nurses have received training to help them recognise sepsis and it is a requirement for all newly-appointed medical staff,” he said.

Sepsis occurs when the body over-reacts to an infection. It leads to an estimated 44,000 UK deaths a year and it is estimated that more than 5,000 of these could be avoided.

Mr Newell said spotting the potential indicators and knowing how to escalate treatment were a key part of NICE’s new guidance.

Sepsis: Recognition, Assessment and Early Management is available on the NICE website.