Concern as sepsis death rates rise dramatically
PUBLISHED: 05:00 13 August 2018
The number of NHS patients who have died of sepsis has risen dramatically across three major hospitals in Suffolk and Essex over the last four years.
National statistics collated by Professor Brian Jarman, of Imperial College London, show that observed patient deaths caused by sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, have risen across NHS trust hospitals in the two counties since April 2013.
Between April 2013 and 2017 the number of patient deaths caused by sepsis rose by over 53% in the Colchester University Foundation Trust, with 85 recorded deaths between April 2013 and 2014 growing to 148 in 2016/17.
Ipswich Hospital Trust also experienced a rise of almost 28% in the same period.
Both hospitals belong to the East-Suffolk North-Essex Foundation Trust (SNEFT).
A SNEFT spokesman said: “Since April 1, 2017, the national coding system has been able to recognise sepsis, whether an infection site has been identified or not, and this has seen a rise in patients reported as septic and therefore a significant drop in the number of patients with conditions such as chest infections, urinary tract infections, skin infections and abdominal infections.
“In terms of the medical management of sepsis we have improved our detection and treatment of sepsis on arrival at hospital and data up to March 2018 showed Ipswich stood 59th and Colchester 80th out of 134 acute non-specialist Trusts for sepsis mortality risk.”
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) also showed an increase of just under 10% in the same period and was keen to emphasise the improvements made at West Suffolk general.
Nick Jenkins, WSFT medical director, said: “It’s pleasing that the data shows that here at WSFT, the number of actual sepsis deaths was much lower than would be expected for a trust of our size and type.
“That said, we must take these figures and each case of sepsis incredibly seriously. We still have a strong focus on improving our sepsis recognition and treatment, particularly for emergency admissions, and it has been made one of our quality priorities for this year.”
The results follow national statistics published in the Daily Mail which showed a national increase in the number of deaths caused by the infection.