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Research conducted by Sir Brian Jarman, professor at Imperial College London, has highlighted the shocking numbers of deaths attributed to sepsis that have been recorded by the NHS in the last 6 years.
The data shows that the NHS reported 117,439 deaths where sepsis was listed as the primary diagnosis in hospital or within 30 days of discharge for the period of April 2013 to March 2019 inclusive.
28 NHS trusts reported more sepsis deaths than expected and across those 28 trusts, there were approximately 3,750 deaths more deaths than expected.
A sepsis diagnosis can be treated fairly simply if the diagnosis happens early enough, but a misdiagnosis of sepsis can mean that treatment is delayed which can result in serious injuries, including amputation or internal organ damage, and in the most serious cases can also result in death.
Jason Brady, a partner at Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors said
Any sepsis misdiagnosis can radically alter the life of a patient due to the injuries such a condition can cause. These figures highlight the need for the early diagnosis of sepsis to avoid the unnecessary negative impact on patient’s lives.
There has been in increased focus in the last few years from NHS England to identify cases of sepsis at an earlier stage.
A spokesperson for NHS Improvement and NHS England, said:
Actually last year official NHS Digital figures show there were fewer hospital deaths from sepsis than expected.
And in the past few years, as the NHS has become more effective at spotting the infection quickly, although more cases are being recorded, the chances of dying from sepsis have fallen.
Using the recognised Byar Confidence Interval Calculation, Tameside and Glossop NHS Foundation Trust shows deaths from sepsis are 38% higher than expected over the past 6 years. The number of expected deaths is based on a national average. The NHS uses a method called overdispersion which allows for greater leeway in reporting, although they have previously used the Byar method.
The 28 trusts with higher than expected deaths attributed to sepsis: