“FOR a condition that takes 44,000 lives every year, it is astonishing how few people know what it is.”
These are the words of West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, at the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness about Sepsis.
Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues. If not spotted and treated quickly, it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death.
Every year in the UK, 250,000 people are affected by sepsis – 44,000 people die and 60,000 suffer permanent, life-changing after-effects.
It is more common than heart attacks and kills more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer and road accidents combined.
As part of the campaign, each of the 47 new ambulances entering service with WMAS this year will carry information about the condition.
Unveiling the vehicles was Melissa Mead, who has campaigned to raise awareness of the condition after her one-year-old son William tragically died after a range of health providers failed to spot the condition.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Our staff know better than most just how important it is to recognise the condition and to act quickly to help save lives.
“In many respects putting this poster on the side of our ambulances is one way that we can say ‘thank you’ for their help.
“If it saves even one life then it has been worth it, but because these vehicles will be based across the West Midlands we hope as many people as possible will see the information and take note of the warning signs, so that many more lives can be saved.
“We want everyone to know the phrase: ‘Just ask; could it be sepsis? It’s a simple question but it could save a life.’”