Signs and symptoms of sepsis: raising awareness in the learning disability community
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Signs and symptoms of sepsis: raising awareness in the learning disability community

Patrick Doherty Learning disability nursing student, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
Justine Barksby Senior lecturer and subject lead for learning disabilities, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
Melissa McCorkindale Learning disability nursing student, De Montfort University, Leicester, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your awareness of sepsis as a cause of mortality in people with learning disabilities

  • To remind yourself of the life-threatening nature of sepsis and the vital need for prompt recognition

  • To prompt you to contribute to raise awareness of sepsis in the learning disability community

In sepsis, prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment are vital to avoid deterioration, organ failure and death. Sepsis is challenging to recognise because there is no one single presenting sign and because it may initially present similarly to conditions such as influenza, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. Sepsis has been shown to be an important cause of mortality in people with learning disabilities, in whom recognising sepsis in a timely manner presents its own challenges. Improving awareness of sepsis in the learning disability community, including by providing easy-read information on this life-threatening condition, is important to assist in reducing the number of avoidable deaths from sepsis among people with learning disabilities. This article discusses sepsis in people with learning disabilities and describes a leaflet developed as part of a student assignment at De Montfort University to inform people with learning disabilities about sepsis.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2099

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

Justine.barksby@dmu.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Doherty P, Barksby J, McCorkindale M (2021) Signs and symptoms of sepsis: raising awareness in the learning disability community. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2099

Published online: 11 February 2021

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