More than 160 student nurses have been trained to be “sepsis champions” spotting the signs of a condition that kills more people than breast and bowel cancer every year.
The event was organised by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) second year student nurse Katie Dutton who nearly died of sepsis herself four years ago
With support from the UK sepsis trust and the royal college of nursing, she organised a day of speakers, practical training and scenarios. Sepsis, or blood poisoning, can be difficult to spot because its symptoms are often confused with those of less serious conditions. It kills 44,000 people every year in the UK.
It is the second time Katie has organised the event
, in partnership with #DMUlocal – and she already knows it has saved lives.
She said: “I have had a couple of students here come to me and say because of that training, they’ve been able to help someone’s life in practice.
“It’s so important that we know what the signs are and I just want all the students to be asking ‘could it be sepsis?’ when they see a patient.”
One student was Savannah Crowder, who was a volunteer first aider at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena when a fan became ill. She realised that his symptoms could be sepsis and called an ambulance to take him to hospital.
“I’d been to the training the week before and that must have been in the back of my mind, I suddenly realised what it must be and I was able to help before he got to hospital.”
Earlier this year, Katie’s work earned her the Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award at the Royal College of Nursing UK Awards.
From next year, DMU will be making Katie’s Sepsis Champions event part of the curriculum so all student nurses can have this extra training. And Katie is working with other universities across the UK to help them hold similar events.
Georgina McNamara, lead nurse for the UK Sepsis Trust, told students of her experiences in a busy intensive care unit, and some examples of real cases. She said: “These students are our nurses of the future.
“The reality is that they will see patients with sepsis, and they can deteriorate very quickly so it really is a case of acting quickly. They need to be an advocate for the patient.
“Katie has done so much to advance this campaign. A lot of people will never have heard of sepsis and she has been tireless in getting this event together at DMU and other universities.”
University Hospitals Leicester (UHL) sepsis specialist and critical care outreach nurse Clair Sandy talked about sepsis screening and how the challenge is being made even harder by antibiotic resistance.
During the event Patrick Doherty, a first year learning disabilities nurse at DMU, showcased his poster which has been designed to help patients with learning disabilities understand the risks of sepsis.
Posted on Sunday 23rd September 2018