I am delighted at the support that is gathering across Wales for World Sepsis Day on 13 September 2013.
This reflects a global movement. I know many medical leaders from countries across different continents are signing up to support World Sepsis Day.
Sepsis is a tier 1 priority in NHS Wales, so it is very important we make the most of World Sepsis Day to get the message out.
We know that sepsis is a serious illness – taking 1,800 lives in Wales every year. Astonishingly, sepsis accounts for more deaths annually than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.
We also know that if we spot it quickly and get the right treatments in place we can save lives. If we spot it, we can treat it and beat it.
There have been major advances in diagnosing and escalating treatment for patients with sepsis. All the staff from across Wales who have been involved in the 1000 Lives Plus RRAILS collaborative should feel justly proud of their efforts.
We have seen standardised reliable systems established across our acute hospitals, with both the National Early Warning Score to alert staff to the possibility of sepsis and the Sepsis Screening tool to gain a quick diagnosis. Rapid response and the Sepsis Six treatment programme have saved lives.
But there is still more to do. We all need to be aware of sepsis and consider it when we see very ill people. This is why World Sepsis Day is so important – to get people thinking ‘Could this be sepsis?’
I know there will be events across Wales on World Sepsis Day and I would like to encourage all those taking part. I would like to thank you for your commitment to combating this harmful illness. I know your hard work will be rewarded by saving lives.
Dr Ruth Hussey OBE, Chief Medical Officer for Wales
Don’t miss the NHS Wales World Sepsis Day film which outlines the systems being used to reduce sepsis.