Coronavirus update: Dr Chris warns survivors to look out for the symptoms of sepsis

Coronavirus survivors could be diagnosed with sepsis within a year, according to the UK Sepsis Trust. A study by the charity found as many as 20,000 COVID-19 survivors could be diagnosed with the condition. Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection, which occurs when the immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage the body’s own tissues and organs.

Also known as blood poisoning, Dr Chris offered his advice on what symptoms of the condition you should look out for.

The TV doctor, who has contracted sepsis himself in the past, said it’s “crucial” you spot symptoms quickly.

The signs to look out for can be remembered using the acronym SEPSIS.

S – slurred speech and confusion

E – extreme pain in the muscles or joints

P – passing no urine in a day

S – severe breathlessness

I – “It feels like I’m going to die”

S – Skin that is mottled of discoloured

Dr Chris also noted rashes can appear in the skin – one of the most notable rashes being the meningitis rash.

He advised if you press a glass tumbler against the rash and it doesn’t blanch out the spots, it could be a sign of meningitis.

He said: “That’s quite late in the development of the disease and you don’t want to wait for signs like that.

“Get to hospital, phone 999. Don’t mess about.”

The doctor went on to warn sepsis is one of the leading causes of avoidable death, with it killing more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer combined.

It’s also worth noting the symptoms of sepsis in children.

Dr Chris said children may experience:

  • A very high or very low temperature or rapid temperature changes
  • Pale complexion
  • Blue discolouration to the lips
  • Feeling very lethargic
  • A fit or convulsion

Dr Chris warned: “Anyone is at risk of sepsis.”

Anyone with an infection can get sepsis – an infection can be contracted through something as simple as a cut or graze.

So how can you avoid an infection?

Dr Chris advised dressing wounds, cut and grazes is extremely important.

Keeping good hygiene and washing your hands frequently also comes highly recommended.

Dr Chris added: “Make sure your vaccines are up to date.”

Sepsis can be especially hard to spot in babies and young children, people with dementia, people with a learning disability and people who have difficulty communicating.

The NHS advises: “Do not worry if you’re not sure if it’s sepsis – it’s still best to call 111.”

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