Taunton hospital improves infection survival
By marion_TLocal | Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 13:34
According to the latest press release from Musgrove Park Hospital the rate of blood poisoning is on the increase but the number of patients they have diagnosed with the infection and who have survived under their care has risen, with two lives being saved every month.
Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton
The severe form, septicaemia ('blood poisoning') is a potentially deadly medical condition in which the whole body can become infected and is one of the conditions that can arise from meningitis or from dirt getting into an open wound.
Experts at the hospital believe early diagnosis and prompt treatment of sepsis have largely contributed to the saving of lives from this horrible imfection.
Under a 'Surviving Sepsis' campaign, all emergency patients are now checked for the infection on admission to the hospital; if the condition is suspected, treatment with antibiotics is begun immediately.
Consultant physician Dr Rudi Matull has been leading Musgrove's drive to improve treatment for patients with sepsis, which started in late 2009.
"By checking everyone on admission, whether in the emergency department (A&E) or in the medical and surgical admission units (MAU and SAU), we can identify sepsis at a much earlier stage and start treatment before it takes a hold," he said.
"The majority of patients identified with sepsis now receive their treatment within an hour".
"Although the checks are revealing more cases of suspected sepsis than previously, the number of deaths from sepsis, including life-threatening 'blood poisoning', is falling due to the prompt treatment our patients are receiving."
"Improving outcomes for patients with sepsis has been a team effort involving nurses and doctors in A&E, MAU and SAU, as well as a whole variety of specialists' support – for example; the 'critical care outreach team', intensive care staff, pharmacists, and microbiologists."
Musgrove's success on treating patients with sepsis has been recognised by Dr Foster, the UK's leading provider of healthcare data, which informs the Department of Health.
Before the start of the 'sepsis initiative', the hospital's actual septicaemia-related mortality rate and expected figures were similar over the last decade (for example: on average 4.5 and 4.1 deaths per month, respectively, over a six month winter period in 2008/09).
The success of the project means that the situation has changed. For a similar six month winter period in 2011/12, the actual rate had fallen for the first time (to 3.5 deaths), and it is now less than two thirds of the expected rate (of 5.5 deaths).