Jul 302013
 
Chris Hancock

Chris Hancock

After delivering a talk to a group of students, during which I had briefly mentioned sepsis, I was approached by one of the tutors.

“I was listening to what you said about sepsis,” she said. “I want to say thank you because now I think I finally know what my mother died from.”

This person was a nurse tutor and therefore could be presumed to have a reasonable knowledge of physiology and disease processes, and yet she had never heard of sepsis. This isn’t a surprise. Sepsis is largely unknown both to the public and also, worryingly, to healthcare professionals. Continue reading »

Feb 222013
 
Chris Hancock

Chris Hancock

When I worked in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a full term baby was admitted because of rapid deterioration in his condition due to sepsis. As we prepared to resuscitate the little boy the consultant, attempting to encourage us, cried: “Come on, we won’t lose this one.” 

He was wrong. In a matter of minutes this newborn baby, who had only a few hours before been thriving, was dead. I was struck then by how quickly sepsis kills and also the futility of leaving treatment too late. Continue reading »