Early detection. It’s something we hear all the time, but on World Sepsis Day on Thursday that was the message coming through loud and clear.
Therefore this week’s edition of Our People is with Helen Scott, Infection Control Registered Nurse at Griffith Base Hospital, who is passionate about raising awareness of communicable diseases at Griffith Base Hospital.
Known in the hallways for her hard-handed approach to hand-hygiene, Ms Scott became the first nurse in her family.
“As part of my job, I make sure everyone is practicing proper hand hygiene, that is what I am known for! I actually received a commendation from the district the other day for my work – that was pretty cool.”
With Griffith Base Hospital sitting at 90 per cent compliance for hand-hygiene, the hospital is an impressive 10 percent more compliant than the national benchmark.
“When I was back in England I was working in the sterilisation department, and I used to go and watch the procedures through the doors, and I asked someone body once how I could actually work in theatres, and they said become a nurse, and I did,” Ms Scott said.
While she doesn’t have much direct contact with patients, her job brings with it the high-points that come from working in a hospital.
“We had a patient come in with MRSA, and went through the protocols,” Ms Scott said.
“The patient’s life is so much better. They felt unclean and horrible, ostracised, and in their own words felt like a leper.
“Coming out the other side of that was really rewarding.”
And being World Sepsis Day, Ms Scott encourages everyone to become more aware about the life-threatening illness.
“People don’t know about sepsis. It is one of these things people may have heard of but don’t know what it is. Because it’s such a common thing and people can die from it, awareness is extremely important,” Ms Scott said.
Sepsis is the life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, failure of multiple organs, and death. Organ failure and death are more likely if sepsis is not recognized early and not treated promptly.
“I’ve seen a few cases, and people can deteriorate very rapidly.”
Symptoms: fever and chills, very low body temperature, peeing less than normal, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea.
It can be treated well if detected early.
For more information on sepsis, visit www.world-sepsis-day.org.