‘Rapid response’ boost in bid to save more lives
9:20am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
A LEADING doctor has said the Royal Bolton Hospital has improved its “rapid response rate” for patients suffering from septicaemia — which is “key to saving lives”.
Dr Emma Wheatley, a consultant in intensive care and anaesthesia and the clinical lead for patient safety at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said recognising the symptoms of sepsis and septicaemia and treating it early was vital.
Her comments come after a report showed data about hospital patients illnesses had been changed.
Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly. It can affect people of all ages.
Symptoms, which include fever, feeling unwell, dizziness and shivering, are similar to flu and are often mistaken for something less serious.
The 47-year-old said that in Bolton, junior doctors and nurses had been taught to look for the signs of sepsis and to treat it as soon as possible.
Dr Wheatley, who has worked at the Trust for 15 years, said: “Rapid diagnosis and treatment is key.
“In the UK, septicaemia probably kills about 36,000 people a year, which is a huge number. With rapid diagnosis and treatment, we could reduce that number by half. It could potentially reduce those deaths significantly.”
Dr Wheatley said doctors in Bolton had been making early diagnoses of sepsis for many years. She said in 40 to 50 per cent of sepsis cases, blood tests will not show they are infected but doctors in Bolton were aware of this and the importance of recognising signs early.
Dr Wheatley believes cases appear to have increased across the country in recent years because of the “rapid diagnoses” and wants sepsis to get the same national attention as other life-threatening conditions, such as cancer.
The report was commissioned by Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning Group after it noticed the trust had an unusually high number of septicaemia cases.
Between March, 2011, and April, 2012, the trust recorded 800 cases when a similar sized trust would expect to have 200. Dr Foster, a health information comparison service, looked at the coding in 150 cases and found that 76 did not “meet national standards”.
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