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Sepsis, also referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia, is a potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection or injury.
In sepsis, the body's immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection.
This can reduce the blood supply to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys.
Without quick treatment, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Sepsis kills over 44,000 people annually in the UK, thats more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined together. At the moment it can take up to 6 days to obtain a sepsis diagnosis using blood cultures. There are now techniques that can reduce this to between 3 - 5 hours. With your help and donations we can raise awareness of sepsis and find ways to reduce the time it takes to diagnose this serious illness.

Save time, save money, save lives.

What You Need to Know



Early symptoms of sepsis may include:

  • a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature

  • chills and shivering

  • a fast heartbeat

  • fast breathing


In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock (when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level) develop soon after.

These can include:

  • feeling dizzy or faint

  • a change in mental state – such as confusion or disorientation

  • diarrhoea 

  • nausea and vomiting

  • slurred speech

  • severe muscle pain

  • severe breathlessness

  • less urine production than normal – for example, not urinating for a day

  • cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin

  • loss of consciousness

See your GP immediately or call NHS 111 if you've recently had an infection or injury and you recognise any of the possible early signs of sepsis.

If sepsis is suspected, you'll usually be referred to hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.

Severe sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies. If you think you or someone in your care has one of these conditions, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.