Survivors’ stories shared as Hull plays host to national Sepsis Congress

Former Hull Kingston Rovers captain Shaun Lunt will be sharing his experience of a near fatal illness with health professionals in the city next week.

Shaun will be speaking of his experience of sepsis at a national Sepsis Congress being hosted by the Sepsis Team at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Shaun was subject to a potentially deadly blood infection which resulted from an abscess in his spine back in September last year.

Shaun will be joined at the congress by some 250 health professionals from across the country and big screen inspiration, Tom Ray (pictured above). Tom lost his arms and legs and had part of his faced removed as a result of sepsis, and the 2016 film ‘Starfish’ tells his own moving story and that of his family.

Rachel Harris, clinical nurse specialist for sepsis at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says:

“Sepsis is not limited to or typical within any particular patient group. Although the term ‘sepsis’ may still not be familiar to people, the body’s response to this severe infection can have life-changing consequences for not only people who develop it but for their family and loved ones too.

“More than 250 nurses, doctors and other health specialists will be coming to Hull on Tuesday to hear the latest sepsis research updates, to find out more about the effect of sepsis in certain patient groups such as older people and pregnant women, and also to hear first-hand from people who have survived sepsis about the potentially devastating consequences it can have.

“Regardless of where they work, our aim is to ensure health professionals always have sepsis at the forefront of their minds if symptoms start to present.”

There are said to be at least 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK every year. Over a fifth of those cases – 52,000 or an average of 1,000 per week – result in death.

More locally, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust introduced its sepsis team in 2015, as part of a national initiative to drive up survival rates. The team now comprises consultant Dr Kate Adams and clinical nurse specialists Donna Gotts and Rachel Harris, all of whom are working to improve in-hospital screening and the provision of potentially life-saving antibiotics in the first hour, and supporting colleagues working within the ambulance service, GPs and community staff.

The Sepsis Congress will take place at the Bonus Arena on Tuesday 18 June. Tickets are still available for clinical staff to purchase via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hull-sepsis-congress-tickets-50970684690

Speakers at the event include Dr Michael Porter, Lecturer in Molecular Genetics and a sepsis survivor himself, local GPs Dr James Moult and Dr Scot Richardson, and Dr Richard Fawcett, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Royal Stoke University Hospital who also flies with the Midlands Air Ambulance and serves as Clinical Director for the 208 Field Hospital Royal Army Medical Corps.