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'Don't delay' warns 77-year-old Walsall man in hospital for six months with sepsis

A 77-year-old Walsall man, who has been in hospital for more than six months after contracting sepsis several times, has spoken of his experience.

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Graham Teagues has been at Walsall Manor Hospital for over six months due to sepsis.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is sharing the story of Graham Teagues, from Brownhills, in order to raise awareness of the signs and dangers of the potentially fatal condition.

Graham has had sepsis multiple times from factors relating to a long-term condition.

Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It may lead to shock, multiple-organ failure, and death – especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.

Five people die every hour with sepsis in the UK and 40 per cent of people who develop sepsis suffer from physical, cognitive, and/or psychological after effects.

Speaking from Walsall Manor Hospital, the grandfather-of-three said: “When I had sepsis the main symptoms I felt was uncontrollable shaking, feeling cold even with a raised temperature, rapid breathing and a drop in blood pressure.

“It was a very scary and stressful experience, but staff managed to get to it in time and treat me with antibiotics.

“The care from the Sepsis Outreach Response Team (SORT) has been excellent, I can’t fault them one bit.”

The former domestic appliances service engineer added: “If there’s one piece of advice I could share with everyone it would be ‘don’t delay’. If something feels wrong and is not resolving itself, make sure you check for sepsis. The quicker you treat it, the better your chances of surviving.”

Xana Marriott, senior sister for critical care rehabilitation at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Graham has unfortunately had to deal with a few sepsis diagnoses but he has absolutely been a fighter.

"He has been at the hospital for a while now but he never fails to show his strength every day. He is such a lovely patient and we are very proud of him and his recovery.”

Wednesday is World Sepsis Day and charities and NHS Trusts across the country are raising awareness of the condition.

Seek medical help urgently if you or another adult develop any of these signs:

  • Slurred speech or confusion

  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain

  • Passing no urine (in a day)

  • Severe breathlessness

  • It feels like you’re going to die

  • Skin mottled or discoloured

A child may have sepsis if he or she:

  • Is breathing very fast

  • Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion

  • Looks mottled, bluish, or pale

  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it

  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake

  • Feels abnormally cold to touch

A child under five may have sepsis if he or she:

  • Is not feeding

  • Is vomiting repeatedly

  • Has not passed urine for 12 hours

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