‘Silent killer’ sepsis hits 400 a day: Number leaps more than 50% in five years with over-prescription of antibiotics by GPs blamed

Nearly 400 patients a day are being admitted to hospital with the ‘silent killer’ sepsis, new figures reveal. Numbers have surged by 50 per cent in five years, partly fuelled by the crisis in antibiotics resistance. The rise has also been blamed on more patients undergoing invasive surgery and other procedures which may do more harm than good.

Sepsis numbers have surged by 50 per cent in five years, partly fuelled by the crisis in antibiotics resistance (stock photo)

But experts say the Government and NHS have been ‘too slow’ to take urgent action to improve public awareness, diagnosis and treatment.

A damning report in January exposed how sepsis claimed the life of one-year-old William Mead after it was missed by staff operating the 111 helpline.

And a separate investigation this week revealed how a nine-year-old boy had died from the condition after being sent home by doctors with a ‘mild chest infection.’

Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection.

It is referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because without very rapid treatment it can lead to organ failure and death.

The condition can strike previously healthy patients of all ages, but is most common in young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying illness.

Latest figures show there were 141,772 admissions for patients with sepsis recorded in 2014/15, a 54 per cent increase from the 91,881 recorded in 2010/11.

But in the East and West Midlands they have increased by 78 per cent over the same period, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Separate estimates show the condition claims 30,000 lives a year