Warning after sepsis nearly killed holiday maker

Warning After Sepsis Nearly Killed <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Maker

File picture of Majorca’s Alcudia beach

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A man has told how he nearly died after suffering what he thought was a mild tummy bug. Michael Lapworth, from Oadby2, was on Discount Holidays © holiday in Spain in July when he fell victim to a bout of sickness and diarrhoea. Within days he was in a coma and is still off work.

The 51-year-old was in fact suffering from sepsis – a life-threatening condition which happens when body’s immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection.

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It can then attack tissues and vital organs and can kill if not treated promptly. Mr Lapworth, a school premises supervisor, was in Majorca’s Alcudia resort with his partner when he fell ill. He said: “We had been there about a week when one morning, about 3am, I got sickness and diarrhoea.

“I just went back to bed, and didn’t think much of it.

“I took some tablets, which didn’t seem to work. The day after that I called the doctor, who said I had an infection.”

Mr Lapworth was sent to the local hospital but quickly transferred to one the capital Palma. He was immediately put into an induced coma. Mr Lapworth said: “I had never heard of sepsis but they saved my life in Palma.

“I don’t remember much but I was given some strong medication. I think was given a 40 per cent chance of living.”

Mr Lapworth was flown back to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he spent another fortnight. He has now been discharged but is not yet well enough to go back to work. Almost all his toes have turned black due to the infection and Mr Lapworth is waiting to see if he will have to have them amputated.

Sepsis is estimated to cause 37,000 deaths a year in the UK. To mark World Sepsis Day on Sunday (Sept 13) the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is raising awareness of the condition among staff and patients. All 600 staff working in the trust’s community hospitals will be given cards to help them spot the signs of sepsis.

A special roadshow is also visiting the county’s community hospitals.

Karen Plowman, an advanced nurse practitioner and the trust’s lead for sepsis said: “Early diagnosis followed by early treatment are very important, and every hour can make a difference.”

The trust is introducing a 1 million system to record patient observations which will automatically alert staff if sepsis is suspected.

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