10 September 2017

Sepsis survivor launches new initiative

Sepsis survivor launches new initiative

A FATHER who feared he would never see his family again after being struck down by sepsis has returned to the hospital that saved his life to help launch a new patient safety campaign. 

Karl Goodere-Dale thought he was suffering from a heavy cold but within hours he collapsed and was rushed to Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) where doctors diagnosed sepsis and began the race against time to save his life.

He spent eight weeks in hospital and now faces an 18 month recovery period. Karl has joined the medical team to launch a new sepsis information leaflet for patients and relatives, and to say thank you to staff by helping to raise awareness of the potentially fatal infection. 

The 36-year-old, from Beeston, said: "I hadn't heard about sepsis before, I don't think many people have, but it is serious. When I got to hospital they quickly took me to resus and I was in a bad way, bringing up blood. 

"I knew something was wrong by the way I was being monitored. I was thinking 'this is it, this is serious, my family are going to be without me'. I was worried about leaving my children and them growing up on their own. 

"I remember asking the doctor to not let me die. He said they were doing all they could to make sure that doesn't happen." 

Karl was taken to Intensive Care and eventually made a full recovery and said his experience had shown how dangerous sepsis is and how important it is that the signs are spotted. He says the new leaflet and improvement in awareness of the symptoms would save lives. 

Sepsis Leaflet Web

The new leaflet will be given to people leaving the Emergency Department having attended with an infection and offers advice on sepsis symptoms. 

Early symptoms of sepsis may include:

  • a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • a fast heartbeat
  • fast breathing 

Karl said: "I think the leaflet is a good idea. Information does need to be given out to both patients and relatives. It is important that people understand it and are aware of what it is. 

"I went through a real rollercoaster of emotions. I was glad that I was alive and grateful for the help I had and the swift way I was treated because without that I am certain I wouldn't' be here right now. Thanks to the team it means I can see my children grow up." 

Clinical teams at Nottingham University Hospitals have spent more than a decade delivering substantial and sustained improvements in how they identify and treat sepsis and are now one of the leading centres for improvements in sepsis care. 

At QMC and City Hospital 91% of patients are automatically screened for sepsis and see a critical care specialist in under four hours - half as long as it took in 2010. Their work will feature in a Panorama sepsis special on BBC1 on Monday 11 September at 8.30pm. 

The team are continuing to innovate in the field and introduced mandatory sepsis training for clinical staff and new patient information. 

Sally Wood, Sepsis Lead Nurse at NUH, said: "The Trust has come a long way during the last ten years and that is due to hard work and dedication across the board. 

"It means we have some of the best outcomes for sepsis patients in the country and that means that people like Karl are able to go home to their families which is what we all want to see. 

"Karl's experience led us to develop the new leaflet and we hope it will raise awareness and help save lives."

NHS Nottingham University Hospitals
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