Resistance to antibiotics is causing patients to die of sepsis, a medical expert has warned.

Mark Bellamy, president of the Intensive Care Society, has said the number of sepsis deaths will rise unless new antibiotics are developed.

Sepsis already causes around 37,000 deaths in the UK every year, compared with approximately 35,000 from lung cancer and 16,000 from bowel cancer.

The Society, along with Sepsis Trust UK, have recently criticised sepsis care, saying hospitals are failing to recognise and treat the condition in the early stages. It is predicted these failings are causing 12,500 preventable deaths each year.

Antibiotics resistance

Treating sepsis is now becoming increasingly difficult, as more and more patients are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Professor Bellamy said: “For the first time this year I have had a couple of patients for whom we had no effective antibiotic treatment, it’s rare – but two years ago it would have been regarded as a theoretical problem.”

He added that it is vital to raise the profile of sepsis, as this will ensure the condition is treated in the early stages – giving the patient the best chance of survival.

Bruce Warner, deputy director of patient safety at NHS England, acknowledged the scale of the problem.

“We know there are many preventable deaths due to sepsis each year and our top priority has to be saving those lives we can save and having as big an impact as we can”, he said.

Preventable sepsis deaths

If your loved one has died due to substandard sepsis care, please get in touch with us to discuss your options.

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