26 August 2015 - Innovative Sepsis Screening Tool Wins Award

Dan ButterworthAdvanced Paramedic for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Daniel Butterworth, who is currently a University of Bolton Advanced Practitioner MSc student has used his final year project to develop an innovative screening tool for the ambulance service.

With its potential to have national and international impact, Daniel has been selected for an award from the University, recognising its significance for patient care.

Senior Lecturer for the course, Dr. Chris Mulryan, said: “Daniel is breaking new ground with his project that will undoubtedly have far reaching implications both nationally and internationally.”

Daniel has formulated a pre-hospital screening tool to identify sepsis, a potentially fatal condition in which the body’s reaction to infection is to send the immune system into overdrive. This reaction can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure, impacting on blood clotting and the blood supply to vital organs, such as the brain and heart.

More than 37,000 UK deaths each year are attributed to sepsis, more than heart attacks and strokes, and yet the ambulance service has no nationally agreed guidelines for identifying the condition where an early diagnosis can be critical.

Daniel’s diagnosis tool has been used in Manchester and Salford as part of a pilot project where 100 ambulance staff have been trained in its use.

This pilot project has allowed Daniel to develop a best practice care bundle for severe sepsis with Daniel and his colleagues being better able to identify the condition, give best care possible on the way to hospital and be able to brief hospital ahead of arrival so staff there are ready to act.

Daniel presented a paper on his research findings to the UK Sepsis Trust Conference in May. There are now funding bids being written to train more staff so Daniel’s project recommendations can be rolled out across the North West.