New NICE guidelines ask for life-threatening sepsis to be treated within one hour

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has drafted a new quality standard which says people showing signs of sepsis must be checked carefully, and once someone is classed as high-risk they should be seen by senior staff and given the right treatment.

Recent cases have shown that there are inconsistencies in how people’s symptoms are assessed in different settings.  With severe symptoms developing in sepsis very quickly, this quality standard helps to prioritise improving sepsis care and hopefully regulate how it is treated.

Statistics from a 2015 report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death discovered that 40 per cent of people admitted to A&E with sepsis did not have a timely review by a senior clinician. The report also showed avoidable delays in administering antibiotics in more than a quarter of cases and inconsistencies in early use of intravenous (IV) fluid.

In respect of people with sepsis who are seen at low risk of getting seriously ill, NICE says that people who are classed as low-risk should get information on what to do if they continue to feel unwell and how to get further help.

The final quality standard is expected to be published in August 2017.

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