SEPSIS takes 44,000 lives a year in the UK but few people know what it is, says West Midlands Ambulance Service chief Anthony Marsh.
WMAS is the first care trust to put warning messages about the condition on its vehicles.
Anthony Marsh, warned about the little-known killer at the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness about Sepsis.
Each of the 47 new ambulances entering service with WMAS this year will carry information about the condition.
Unveiling the vehicles was Melissa Mead, who campaigned to raise awareness of the condition after her one-year-old son William tragically died after a range of health providers failed to spot the condition.
She was accompanied by Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust.
Melissa said: “It has been a pleasure from start to finish to collaborate with WMAS.
“Their passion and determination to help raise awareness of sepsis has been unwavering.”
Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.
If not spotted and treated quickly, it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death.
The ambulance service say numbers are staggering.
Every year in the UK, 250,000 people are affected by sepsis; 44,000 people die and 60,000 suffer permanent, life-changing after-effects.
It’s more common than heart attacks and kills more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer and road accidents combined.
Last year new guidelines on sepsis were issued to the NHS.
The guidelines were developed by the UK Sepsis Trust in partnership with NHS England, the Department of Health and Public Health England.
Anthony Marsh, said: “For a condition that takes 44,000 lives every year, it is astonishing how few people know what it is. That’s one of the reasons we want to help highlight the dangers of SEPSIS to the public.”
“I am delighted that Melissa and Dr Daniels have come along to help us unveil these posters.
“Our staff know better than most just how important it is to recognise the condition and to act quickly to help save lives.
“We have issued guidance to all of our frontline staff on what to look out for, based on the work of the charity and its research.
“If it saves even one life then it has been worth it, but because these vehicles will be based across the West Midlands we hope as many people as possible will see the information and take note of the warning signs, so that many more lives can be saved.”