Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website, or see this week's feature T: Trichomoniasis (STI).

Sepsis

Check if it's sepsis

Sepsis is life threatening. It can be hard to spot.

There are lots of possible symptoms. They can be like symptoms of other conditions, including flu or a chest infection.

If you think you or someone you look after has symptoms of sepsis, call 999 or go to A&E. Trust your instincts.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

A baby or young child has any of these symptoms of sepsis:

  • blue, grey, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue - on brown or black skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis
  • difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their ribcage), breathlessness or breathing very fast
  • a weak, high-pitched cry that's not like their normal cry
  • not responding like they normally do, or not interested in feeding or normal activities
  • being sleepier than normal or difficult to wake

They may not have all these symptoms.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

An adult or older child has any of these symptoms of sepsis:

  • acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense
  • blue, grey, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue - on brown or black skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis
  • difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast

They may not have all these symptoms.

Call 111 now if:

You, your child or someone you look after:

  • feels very unwell or like there's something seriously wrong
  • has not had a pee all day (for adults and older children) or in the last 12 hours (for babies and young children)
  • keeps vomiting and cannot keep any food or milk down (for babies and young children)
  • has swelling or pain around a cut or wound
  • has a very high or low temperature, feels hot or cold to the touch, or is shivering

Do not worry if you're not sure if it's sepsis - it's still best to call 111.

They can tell you what to do, arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor, or call you an ambulance.

Sepsis can be especially hard to spot in:

  • babies and young children
  • people with dementia
  • people with a learning disability
  • people who have difficulty communicating

Further information on sepsis for people with a learning disability and their carers:

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection.

It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body's own tissues and organs.

You cannot catch sepsis from another person.

OutUK's A to Z of Gay Health continues and you can read this week's feature T: Trichomoniasis (STI). We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this particular topic you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.

 

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