Raising awareness of a ‘silent killer’: Sepsis

Sepsis, which is one of the most common causes of death in hospitals in Ireland, is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.
Raising awareness of a ‘silent killer’: Sepsis

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde, launching the Irish Sepsis Foundation, with Doireann O'Mahony, chairperson, and Stephen Carr, former Irish soccer international and patron, and the Two Norries, Timmy Long and James Leonard. The charity launch took place at St. Peter's church in Cork. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

The Lord Mayor of Cork has launched a charity to raise awareness of sepsis, the ‘silent killer’ responsible for one in five hospital deaths in Ireland.

Deirdre Forde described the new charity as “a very important means by which to raise awareness of a serious medical condition responsible for so many deaths in Ireland”.

Sepsis, which is one of the most common causes of death in hospitals in Ireland, is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.

The Irish Sepsis Foundation was founded by Doireann O’Mahony, a barrister specialising in medical-negligence cases, who said she had been surprised there was no Irish charity to raise awareness of the condition.

“The more people know about sepsis, the safer we’ll all be,” Ms O’Mahony said.

“Any infection that gets out of control can lead to sepsis and if it does, time is of the essence. That’s why we will keep spreading the message about the importance of knowing the signs and not hesitating to ask the question: ‘Could this be sepsis?’”

Ms O’Mahony said she was grateful to Ms Forde for launching the charity, and she thanked all who had attended, including her good friends the Two Norries, James Leonard and Timmy Long.

The podcasters MC’d the launch and interviewed Carrigaline singer Kieran Kramer, who developed sepsis in September 2020, as a result of a bite from a horsefly.

Mr Kramer spoke about the ordeal of spending nine months in Cork University Hospital, undergoing nine surgeries, and subsequently spending six months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Two Norries also interviewed Irish Sepsis Foundation patron, former Republic of Ireland soccer player and former Birmingham captain, Stephen Carr, who lost his mother to sepsis in 2018.

“Thousands of people die from sepsis every year, so awareness needs to be put out there,” Mr Carr said.

For more information, see sepsisfoundation.ie

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