Survivors of coronavirus could “get sepsis within a year” and a new report suggests that as many as 20,000 people could be diagnosed within 12 months.
According to the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST), one in five people who needed hospital treatment are at risk from the time they were discharged.
The UKST estimates around 100,000 people will be discharged, meaning 20,000 are at risk.
Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection, which can lead to organ failure and can be fatally life threatening.
Dr Ron Daniels, founder of the UK Sepsis Trust warned that people who have had coronavirus and have since been discharged from hospital, must be aware of the symptoms.
The six signs are: S for slurred speech or confusion, E for extreme pain in muscles or joints, P for passing no urine in a day, S for severe breathlessness, I for “it feels like I’m going to die” and S for skin that is mottled or discoloured, which spells the word sepsis.
Dr Daniels said, “These shocking data serve to remind us of the enormity of the threat of infectious disease to mankind.
“We urgently need all health professionals, as well as the general public, to be aware of the signs of sepsis and subsequently avoid adding to the magnitude of this issue.
“Failing to do so will apply even greater pressure on the NHS as they face traditional winter pressures and potentially a second wave of Covid-19.
“The UK Sepsis Trust is therefore asking the Government to invest in the ‘Blurred Lines’ awareness campaign, £1m investment could save hundreds of lives and £200m in treatment and benefits further down the line.”
Nick Hex, associate director for the NHS and public sector at the York Health Economics Consortium added, “There is a substantial economic cost associated with sepsis, both in terms of direct costs to the health system and costs to the wider economy.
“Raising awareness of sepsis can lead to avoidance of some of these costs through earlier identification and treatment.”