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As Craig Mackinlay MP shares his sepsis story what are the signs of the life-threatening condition and innovative treatments helping survivors?

Sepsis is a serious and life-threatening condition that arises from the body’s reaction to an infection. Sepsis can lead to shock and multiple organ failure and sometimes death. Those who survive sepsis can be left with life-changing injuries. 

Signs of Sepsis 

The UK Sepsis Trust Sepsis Savvy campaign seeks to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis

The signs in adults are:

  • Slurred speech or confusion 
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain 
  • Passing no urine in a day 
  • Severe breathlessness 
  • They describe like they feel like they are going to die 
  • Skin is mottled and discoloured 

Signs of sepsis in children:

  • Breathing very fast
  • Having a fit or convulsion 
  • Skin looks mottles, bluish or pale 
  • They have a rash that does not fade when you press it 
  • They are very lethargic or are difficult to wake up 
  • They feel abnormally cold to touch 
  • In very young children under-five they may not be feeding, vomiting repeatedly or not passing urine 

The UK Sepsis Trust - one of our key charity partners - encourage  for all of us to just ask: Could it be sepsis? If ourselves or our loved ones present with the symptoms above seek urgent medical attention and ask could it be sepsis.

Life-changing Injuries 

Survivors of sepsis have been sharing of their stories to raise awareness. 

Tania Jackson from Hull suffered sepsis after complications from ulcerative colitis. She developed sepsis and had three quarters of her left arm, her left hand and right hand - apart from a small section of her thumb - and her toes amputated as a result. 

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has also been sharing his story of when developed sepsis. He had his hands and feet amputated 

Medical negligence lawyer supports those affected by sepsis

As a medical negligence solicitor, I've supported people and families of loved ones who have died as a result of sepsis where they have suffered a delay in diagnosis and treatment. The impact not only affects the person who develops sepsis but their entire family when they suffer life-changing injuries. 

Recovery and independence after sepsis  

Independence after injury is of key importance for both the physical and mental health of someone who has suffered sepsis.

For those who have had limbs amputated, prosthetic limbs can be a lifeline to getting back to independence. However, studies have shown the prosthetics of the upper limbs struggle to recreate the intuitive motor control required for independence of hand use.

Tania was the first women in the UK to undergo a double hand transplant in 2018. In 2024 Tania underwent a world first treatment to prevent limb rejection of the transplants by undergoing a plasma exchange. These innovative treatments will enable Tania and others who have had amputations due to sepsis to thrive in their recovery and independence.

In addition, a 2020 study highlighted further surgical advances for targeted muscle reinnervation, regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces and more technological development are being developed to improve prosthesis use. 


Sepsis can happen to anyone and it's crucial the condition is diagnosed and treated quickly to prevent life-changing injuries. When someone suffers life changing injuries it is paramount innovative treatments continue to develop and become widely available for everyone to life their life to their fullest after sepsis and amputations.

Find out more about our expertise in supporting people and families affected by sepsis at our dedicated sepsis claims section

More information about the UK Sepsis Trust can be found on its website.