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sepsis policy




This policy sets out the principles that hygeia dental care applies to the recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by an infection anywhere in the body. This can include a dental or throat infection.

Sepsis kills tens of thousands of people each year in the UK but can be easily treated if diagnosed early.


signs and symptoms

If someone on antibiotics or who has a fever or flu-like symptoms becomes very unwell, it is essential to consider whether it may be sepsis.


Signs and symptoms in ADULTS include:

  • Slurred speech or confusion.
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain.
  • Not passing urine for a day.
  • Severe breathlessness.
  • Illness so bad they fear they might die.
  • Mottled or discoloured skin.


Signs and symptoms in CHILDREN include:

  • Very fast breathing.
  • A fit or convulsion.
  • A mottled, bluish or pale appearance.
  • A rash that does not fade when pressed.
  • Extreme lethargy / difficult to wake.
  • Abnormally cold to the touch.


These signs and symptoms may indicate that a person has sepsis.



If there is reason to suspect sepsis, reassure the patient but CALL 999 and request an ambulance immediately.


further guidance

Team members can find more detailed information in the guideline “Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management” published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NG51).

In particular, risk stratification tables are available by clicking the appropriate age group here: 12 years and over, 5 to 11 years, and under 5 years old.

Web version 1: 17.8.2018 (reviewed 11.11.2018)

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