Treat severe sepsis within one hour

PATIENTS showing symptoms of severe sepsis should be treated within one hour, according to a new draft quality standard from NICE.

The quality standard highlights areas from NICE’s 2016 sepsis guideline and stresses that staff in any setting, from GPs to paramedics, should check patients for specific signs that will show if their symptoms are life-threatening. This includes temperature and heart rate, and checking for rashes or skin discolouration.

NICE says that high-risk sepsis patients should get antibiotics and IV fluid treatment within the hour. If it will take more than an hour to get someone to hospital, GPs or ambulance staff can also administer antibiotics.

Professor Gillian Leng, NICE deputy chief executive, said: “Severe symptoms can develop in sepsis very quickly. If high-risk patients are not identified and treated promptly, people can be left with debilitating problems. In the worst cases, they may die.

"This quality standard highlights priorities in the continued fight to improve sepsis care. We know from recent case reviews that there are inconsistencies in how people’s symptoms are assessed in different settings. More can be done to provide rapid treatment."

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