Sepsis campaigners call for public awareness campaign

A public awareness campaign for sepsis is being considered by the petitions committee in the Welsh Assembly.

Siobhan Corria submitted the petition to the National Assembly of Wales with her friend, Michelle Christopher.
Michelle lost her 17 year old daughter to the illness in December of 2014.
Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection that occurs when someones immune system cannot fight it.
Forty-four thousand people in the UK die from the illness each year. Two thousand five hundred of those are in Wales.
Early symptoms of sepsis include:

  • A high temperature or a low body temperature
  • Shivering
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Discoloured or mottled skin
  • Passing no urine (in a 12 hour window)

Siobhan has been campaigning about sepsis since the death of her partners brother in 2012.

Siobhan Corria (left) and Michelle Christopher (right)

Siobhan said “There are two strands to the petition. We want a commitment from the Welsh Government to undertake a public awareness campaign and provide better support for survivors. We need to make sure that the support is there for people.
“We want people to be aware of sepsis because it can be life threatening and a lot of people don’t know about it.
“We want them to be able to understand the symptoms and what to do if they experience them. The earlier you can catch symptoms, the outcomes are better.”
Gemma Ellis is the sepsis lead nurse for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
She said “Some people are more susceptible to sepsis than others. Two people may have the same infection but one person may go on to develop sepsis and one may become perfectly well.
“Public awareness campaigns have achieved a great deal. For example, the public awareness campaigns on strokes and heart attacks, any member of the public could tell you what to do in those situations. The public needs to understand what sepsis is as well as primary carers and GPs. A campaign around this will empower the public to ask, could this be sepsis?”
Anyone can be affected by sepsis. Whilst public officials are unsure on the success of public awareness campaigns, campaigners say something needs to be done to educate people about the fatal illness.