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Sepsis

Overview

This information is provisional and is subject to change

Campaign Briefing:

Dates

Launching in early December with aim of running into February 2017

Background

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition. In sepsis, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection. This can reduce the blood supply to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys. Without quick treatment, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

The risk of sepsis is highest in infants and older adults from around 55 years of age – however, the focus of this brief is only for children under five and their parents.

The Secretary of State has committed to a package of support to support earlier diagnosis of sepsis in young children; as part of this package PHE, in partnership with the UK Sepsis Trust, are delivering a campaign, the aim of which is to help parents of children under 5 identify the signs and symptoms of sepsis, to support earlier diagnosis.

Objective

Policy objective: This activity supports the NHS-led cross-system action plan “Improving outcomes for patients with Sepsis (Dec 2015)”, specifically the objective to ‘increase awareness of sepsis amongst professionals and the public’, to which PHE has subscribed.

Campaign objective: The overarching objective is to support earlier diagnosis of sepsis by improving knowledge of sepsis, its symptoms and when to seek urgent healthcare advice, amongst parents/carers of children age 0 – 4

Target audience

The target audience for this campaign is parents/carers of children 0-4 in England across all sociodemographic groups, with consideration given to the secondary audience of grandparents as potential carers and influencers.

We are targeting those parents whose children are not currently ill or with symptoms in order to reach as wide an audience as possible to prime and prepare them to know how to act for potential sepsis in the future.

Key messages

SEPSIS IS A RARE BUT SERIOUS COMPLICATION OF AN INFECTION

IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION

  • are breathing very fast
  • have a ‘fit’ or convulsion
  • look mottled, bluish, or pale
  • have a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • are very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feel abnormally cold to touch

Catching it early can improve chances of treatment, so if your child has any of these symptoms don’t be afraid to go to A&E immediately or call 999.

Campaign resources

The campaign resources will include posters, leaflets, digital waiting room screens, press and social media toolkit, and video content.

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