Scottish mum whose 18-month-old son had sepsis back awareness campaign

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Charity Sepsis Research FEAT is working in partnership with the Scottish Government to run its first joint campaign since before the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of Sepsis Awareness Month.

The initiative, which will launch on Thursday, aims to help save lives by raising awareness about sepsis and how to recognize the main symptoms of the disease, which kills more than 4,000 people in Scotland each year.

It occurs when the body’s response to an infection quickly spirals out of control, injuring its own tissues and organs, which can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Aimee King. Aimee’s son Corey was 18 months old when he contracted sepsis in December 2021 and spent two weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh. Photo: Andrew Perry/PA Wire

The five main symptoms of sepsis highlighted in the campaign are: confusion, not urinating as much as normal, very high or low temperature, uncontrolled chills and cold or spotty arms and legs.

Corey King’s family took him to the emergency room at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh when the 18-month-old fell ill and turned gray in late December 2021.

He was diagnosed with sepsis and spent 27 days in hospital, including two weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit, before being discharged.

Her mother Aimee King said: “I want other families to be aware of the symptoms and also how quickly sepsis can take over.

Adam and Emma Liddle. Emma died after contracting sepsis in March 2020, a week before her 40th birthday, leaving two sons George, now nine, and Roscoe, now three. Photo: Adam Liddle/PA Wire

“If we had stayed home one more day, our story would probably not be positive unfortunately.

“Be familiar with the signs and symptoms. Do you think it could be sepsis? It’s safer to get checked out than to wait.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf marked the launch of the campaign and the start of Sepsis Awareness Month with a visit this week to the home of the research study, GenOMICC, at the Roslin Institute in the University of Edinburgh.

The study improves understanding of sepsis and helps develop better treatments by examining DNA samples from patients in intensive care units across the UK.

Mr Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government is continuing to work with Sepsis Research FEAT to raise awareness of the symptoms and dangers of sepsis.

“Patient safety remains essential to providing safe and effective care to all patients every time they access healthcare services and the Scottish Government’s Patient Safety Program continues to make progress in its action against sepsis.

“Focusing on early identification is essential and treatment within an hour of recognition has resulted in a 21% drop in death rates among those identified at this stage since 2012.”

Adam Liddle, whose wife Emma died after contracting sepsis in March 2020, a week before his 40th birthday, also backed the campaign, leaving behind two sons George, now nine, and Roscoe, now three. .

His wife, a teacher, fell ill with mild flu-like symptoms and a fever, but after five days of rest at home her condition worsened and she was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on March 17 where she was diagnosed with sepsis and later died. That day.

Colin Graham, chief operating officer at Sepsis Research FEAT, said: “Sepsis is a medical emergency. It is a devastating disease that can kill a previously healthy adult within hours.

“Even those who survive are often left with long-term physical or psychological effects. Sepsis Awareness Month, which is observed worldwide every September, is always an important time for our charity to push the word about sepsis.

“We’re asking everyone in Scotland to get involved this year by sharing our awareness campaign and learning the five key symptoms to help save lives.”

The campaign will be broadcast on commercial television, radio, print media and social media.

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