Sepsis: how pharmacies can support patients in identifying the key warnings

21 Feb 2019

Resources that can be used by pharmacists and their team in identifying the key warnings of sepsis

Community pharmacy teams can play a crucial role to facilitate early diagnosis of sepsis by recognising the signs/symptoms and ensure rapid treatment by sign-posting patients/carers appropriately who are at risk of developing sepsis. Sepsis, if left untreated, can lead to multiple organ failure and death. It is the second biggest killer after cardiovascular disease and 25,000 children are affected by it each year in the UK.


The Pharmacy Services team has developed the following resources to help pharmacists and their teams in identifying and referring patients if sepsis is suspected:

Sepsis factsheet This guide details the signs and symptoms of sepsis, highlights vulnerable groups, and identifies the risks of suspected sepsis for different age groups (adapted from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical pathways on sepsis)
Sepsis poster for pharmacy teams A poster to act as a quick go-to guide of the signs/ symptoms a customer may present with to indicate referral


Sepsis was discussed in the previous Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group meeting (England) and the factsheet provides further references and reading materials for all UK countries.


For further information please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891800 or email at:

Produced by the NPA Pharmacy Services team February 2019.