NEAS paramedics invited to Australian conference following work on killer condition

Early identification vital in tackling deadly blood disease.

Two NEAS paramedics have been invited to address an international audience in Australia - following their work in tackling one of the biggest killers in the world.

Sepsis is a blood disease which kills more than 37,000 people every year in the UK.

Graham McClelland and Paul Younger (centre and left in photo) measured the effects of a screening tool which helps identify patients at risk of the condition, while en-route to hospital.

The tool resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of patients ambulance crews could identify as being potential sepsis sufferers.

The pair earned their invitation to speak at the Australasian Paramedic Conference in Canberra, after picking up an award for their research, named most likely to affect practice at an emergency trauma event in Cardiff.

The Australian conference takes place in October, just a month after World Sepsis Day.

While Graham and Paul were invited, Graham is unable to attend due to other commitments.

Graham said: "This research and development highlights the excellent work being done by front line ambulance crews here in the North East in identifying patients with sepsis, or who are at risk of sepsis.

"It's vital treatment begins as soon as possible. The screening tool that NEAS have introduced has increased the amount of patients identified at risk of sepsis with a 6 fold increase in patients pre-alerted to hospitals in the region."

Sepsis claims over 37,000 lives in the United Kingdom annually- more than lung cancer, and more than breast cancer and bowel cancer combined.

Research shows that early recognition and intervention saves lives - and may save as many as 15,000 lives annually in the UK per year. To achieve this improvement requires a partnership between patients, the public, and the healthcare professions. This partnership must start with heightened awareness and understanding of the condition.

Data from the Sepsis Trust UK http://sepsistrust.org/

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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