The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said those at risk must receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics and be seen by a senior doctor in hospital shortly after displaying signs of the condition.

The advice follows previous guidance that sepsis, which occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive while trying to fight an infection, should be treated as an emergency in the same way as a heart attack.

It also advises all health professionals to record vital signs such as temperature, and check for rashes and skin discolouration.

If a patient is more than an hour away from a hospital, antibiotics can be given in GP practices or by ambulance staff. the advice states.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Every death from sepsis is a tragedy, yet too often the warning signs are missed.

“We need to get far better at spotting sepsis across the NHS and this advice shows how vital it is for clinicians to treat life-threatening symptoms as soon as possible.”

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