Sepsis is a serious condition which requires immediate attention. The NHS defines Sepsis as:

“Sepsis results from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body’s response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death.”

Those most at risk of Sepsis are babies, the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, or those who have recently been through surgery.

Signs of sepsis

Please be aware that you cannot catch Sepsis from another person. Sepsis happens inside your body and is the result of an existing infection spreading. Please be assured that not all infections will lead to Sepsis.

If you have been unwell with an infection, and you start to take a turn for the worse, please look out for the following symptoms which CAN be the first signs of Sepsis. Please remember that these are indicative and do not necessarily mean you have Sepsis. 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever and chills
  • A very low body temperature
  • Urinating less than normal
  • A rapid pulse and rapid breathing


SEPSIS in Babies and Children

Babies and Children can also contract Sepsis. If you feel your child has any of the following symptoms off the back off a period of illness, please seek urgent medical attention either via A&E or by calling 999.

  • Fits or convulsions
  • Mottled or bluish skin/lips
  • Severe lethargy 
  • A very high temperature or a very low temperature
  • Very fast breathing
  • A rash that does not fade when pressed 


Please be aware that the symptoms of Sepsis can be associated with the symptoms of Meningitis and should be treated as seriously.

Click here to find out more about Sepsis and the symptoms.

What to do

If you or your child have been unwell and think that Sepsis may have developed, please consult your GP, or in more severe cases visit A&E immediately or call 999.

If Sepsis is caught early it can sometimes be treated with Antibiotics at home. In more severe cases, patients will be admitted to hospital and will be immediately administered with Intravenous Antibiotics (through a drip).

Video Support

This video has been created by the NHS to give guidance on how to spot the signs of Sepsis in children.

Things to Remember


1. Symptoms are similar to those of Meningitis and should be treated as seriously.

2. The elderly, and babies are more vulnerable than healthy adults and children.

3. You cannot catch Sepsis from another person. It develops inside your body.


Word from our GP

Watch the video and follow the links to make sure you are aware of what to look for should you be concerned about yourself or a relative “

Dr Harris, Ashfield Surgery