Sepsis-detecting monitors fitted in children’s hospital

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Machines that are able to detect sepsis are being installed at a children’s hospital in Scotland.

The monitors, which have been fitted at Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow, are able to identify changes in heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. A measuring system called Paediatric Early Warning Scores helps to detect sepsis in its early stages.

The machines have been funded by the charity Sepsis Research Scotland, following a donation from Spifox, the Scottish property industry’s charity that raises money for disadvantaged children and young people in Scotland.

Sepsis is caused when the body overreacts when trying to fight an infection. It affects the organs and tissues, and if not treated quickly can result in organ failure and death.

Sepsis Research have said that the detection of any sepsis-like changes would allow children to be treated much quicker, reducing the likelihood of serious harm occuring.

The symptoms of sepsis:

In children:

  • a mottled, bluish or pale appearance
  • very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • abnormally cold to touch
  • breathing very fast
  • a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • a seizure or convulsion.

In adults:

  • slurred speech
  • extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • passing no urine in a day
  • severe breathlessness
  • high heart rate and high or low body temperature
  • skin mottled or discoloured.

Amanda Cavanagh, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, says: “Early detection monitors are a great step forward. Hopefully in the future they will be available in every hospital, for both children and adults. These machines have the potential to save a huge amount of lives, and therefore I hope their installation isn’t dependent on charitable donations, but instead is something provided by the NHS.”


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