Health chief warns that GPs using Skype appointments risk missing sepsis diagnosis

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Health chief warns that GPs using Skype appointments risk missing sepsis diagnosis



FAMILY doctors risk missing deadly sepsis by holding appointments via Skype, a health chief has warned.
Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said increased use of video consultations pose a threat to patients.
Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, has warned doctors risk missing deadly sepsis by holding appointments via Skype
Getty – Contributor Ministers have promised a ‘digital first’ strategy to cut waits to get appointments
GPs should physically examine those who are feared to have the blood infection — which kills around 46,000 people a year in England.
This includes checking their breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature.
These “key variables” help predict what may happen to the patient in the next 12-24 hours.
The condition can be treated with antibiotics if caught early but leads to multiple organ failure and death if it develops.
Dr Hopkins told GP magazine Pulse: “It’s really important we have the dual approach of examining patients and ensuring people know what to look for.”
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Ministers have promised a “digital first” strategy to cut waits to get appointments.
A recent study by the University of Warwick found record numbers of GPs want to quit the NHS with the majority objecting to Skype appointments.
There are around 250,000 cases of sepsis each year England.
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