New draft guidelines for the early treatment of sepsis have been produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The draft recommendations, which have been published for public consultation, cover recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis. These include which signs and symptoms to look out for, how to identify those at high risk and which clinical tests to use to diagnose and monitor sepsis.
The guidelines also cover how to care for people with suspected sepsis outside of hospital and when they should be referred for emergency care, the appropriate use of antibiotics and other supportive treatments such as fluids and oxygen.
'We want all healthcare professionals to see sepsis as an immediate life-threatening condition and make sure there are systems in place across the NHS for it to be recognised and treated as an emergency,' said Professor Mark Baker, the director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE. 'This new guideline will be the first to provide evidence-based best practice advice on how to quickly identify and treat people with sepsis. We now urge all healthcare professionals and organisations with an interest in this area to comment on the proposed recommendations.'
Organisations can register as a stakeholder on the NICE website and they have until Monday 22 February 2016 to submit comments. Individuals are advised to pass comments through a registered stakeholder organisation that most closely represents them. Sepsis is caused when the body's immune system becomes overactive in response to an infection,
causing inflammation which can affect how well other tissues and organs work. When sepsis is recognised early, people can quickly be given the right treatment.