Sepsis and its devastating consequences has had high profile exposure in BBC dramas in recent weeks. The untimely deaths of Nic Grundy in The Archers and Nurse Barbara Hereward on Call the Midwife have shown that, despite these dramas being set over 50 years apart, sepsis remains an indiscriminate killer.
Both these characters were shown as young strong women, struck down in the prime of their lives by sepsis and leaving behind a stunned and grieving spouse and, in the case of Nic Grundy, three young children.
Nic Grundy’s fictional illness and death mirrored a real case in which Shoosmiths was involved. A 37-year-old mother of two visited her GP complaining of a sore throat and high temperature, but her condition deteriorated and later the same day, she developed a painful right knee. That evening, at hospital, she was seen by a senior house officer but was discharged in the early hours of the following morning.
Later that morning, she became very severely ill with vomiting and acute pain. She was then re-admitted to the same hospital and a diagnosis of septic shock was made. Despite intensive care therapy, six days later, this young mother developed organ failure and sadly died leaving her husband and two children aged five months and 21 months.
Commenting on the Archers’ storyline on the BBC’s flagship Today programme, the actress who played Nic Grundy and Michael Grade made the point that the timely administration of antibiotics is likely to have saved the fictional Nic Grundy’s life, a fact which was also evidenced in another case Shoosmiths handled.
Sarah Corser of Shoosmiths who also advised the families in both cases, comments:
‘Sepsis can strike fast and can be deadly without appropriate antibiotic therapy. It is good that the BBC have highlighted the condition to a wide audience to raise awareness of sepsis. In cases of severe illness, asking if it could be sepsis really can save lives.’
Shoosmiths is proud to support Sepsis UK, a charity which promotes the awareness and prevention of sepsis, as well as assisting individuals and families affected by sepsis.