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Sepsis - its about TIME

By Clare Gooch

Sepsis is commonly seen as the body’s extreme response to infection. It can be a life-threatening emergency and if not treated quickly, the consequences can be catastrophic.


will occur when an infection already within the body triggers a chain reaction. Our body’s reaction to this is to mount a response attack, releasing a number of chemicals into the blood stream that in turn begin to attack other organs. The impact of this attack can cause our main organs to fail and, in some instances can cause death.

It’s about TIME  determines the symptoms we should look out for:

  • Temperature
  • Infection
  • Mental decline
  • Extremely ill

There are also less definite signs to be aware of:

Bethannie Booth, 24, from Merthyr Tydfil sadly died from just days after reporting to 111 with a sore throat. Bethannie reported to 111 complaining of red spots on her face (another sign of sepsis) and was told she more than likely had acne. By the time Bethannie was admitted to hospital she was diagnosed with Strep A and a collapsed lung. She then developed and sadly died.

Similarly, Sean Hughes,15, from Finglas, sadly died from after reporting to his GP with flu like symptoms. He had a fever, chest infection and influenza. He was prescribed antibiotics with a warning that his condition could develop into pneumonia. Sean’s symptoms continued to decline. However, his parents were comforted by the fact that he had seen the GP the day before. Sean stopped breathing later that evening. Despite attempts to save Sean’s life, he sadly died. It was reported at inquest that he should have been admitted to hospital sooner.

At Switalskis we are seeing an increasing number of enquiries relating to the delay in diagnosis of that have led to life changing injuries or sadly death. We support many families who have suffered as a result of hospital Trust failures, in particular failings to undertake investigations leading to serious injuries and in some circumstances death. If you have been affected by any of the above, please contact us so that we can begin to support you. 

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Clare has worked in Medical Negligence for over 10 years.  She’s a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team based in Switalskis’ London office.

Senior Associate Solicitor

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