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Silent killer: The largely preventable infection killing Australians

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A leading paediatric professor says each year 5000 Australians are dying from a highly preventable infection, sepsis.

Associate Professor Luregn Schlapbach, from Queensland Children’s Hospital told 3AW’s Ross and John there is no clear way of stopping the deadly infection.

“It’s an overwhelming infection that leads to the shut down of organs, if the organs fail it leads to death,” said Professor Schlapbach.

“You can contract it both outside and inside the hospital, but majority of cases in Australia happen outside.

Unfortunately there is no way of stopping sepsis, commonly known as blood poisoning, but being able to spot the early symptoms is integral.

“In the early stages it can present itself as any minor infection,” said Professor Schlapbach.

“Confusion, altered levels of consciousness, difficultly breathing and cold arms or feet are all early signs.

“If you present to Australian hospital with sepsis your chances of survival are 90%.”

Click PLAY below to listen to the full interview with Professor Schlapbach