World Sepsis Day was marked at Noble’s Hospital on Wednesday 13 September with a collaborative social media project linking Island health professionals with colleagues in Jersey, Guernsey and Northern Ireland.
Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by the body’s response to an infection, when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead.
During a three-day campaign, Island charity Mannin Sepsis invited staff at Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital, patients, visitors, community healthcare workers, ambulance staff and GPs to get involved in an awareness-raising exercise by writing sepsis-related messages on strips of paper, which would then be linked together to make a paper chain.
The links were colour-coded: red in memory of someone who died from sepsis; orange for a sepsis survivor; yellow for a relative of a sepsis survivor; and white for someone who was already aware of sepsis.
Representatives from the charity staged a campaign in the reception area at the hospital over September 11-13, as well as holding a cake bake sale in the staff restaurant and events further afield engaging the involvement of people providing care in the community.
On 13 September, the links were connected to create a paper chain more than 60-feet long and laid out on the rugby pitch at Ballafletcher to spell the word ‘SEPSIS’.
Similar awareness-raising projects took place in Jersey, Guernsey and Northern Ireland, and images from each area were connected on social media using the hashtag #linkingislands.
Dee Struthers, from Mannin Sepsis, said:
‘The collaboration between the public, Department of Health and Social Care and Mannin Sepsis resulted in this being a very successful three-day event.
‘It captured people’s responses to a silent killer while reinforcing the need to identify sepsis as early as possible to save lives as well as millions of pounds in health service costs. Thanks to all who were involved.’
David Neilan, a senior nurse at Noble’s Hospital, said:
‘The sepsis awareness campaign proved to be a very positive and engaging project. It successfully reached out to staff right across Noble’s Hospital and the wider community, and really impressed upon everyone the need to maintain vigilance with respect to sepsis.’
Emma Cleator, who is the Department of Health and Social Care’s community co-ordinator and worked alongside Mannin Sepsis, said:
‘I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction by my colleagues across DHSC, and the use of social media played a key role in raising awareness both locally and nationally.’
Image: Representatives from Mannin Sepsis and Noble's Hospital with paper chains constructed of strips containing messages related to sepsis awareness written by healthcare staff, patients and hospital visitors during a three-day campaign