Simon Finfer is a Professorial Fellow in the Critical Care and Trauma Division at The George Institute. He is a practicing critical care physician with an appointment as a Senior Staff Specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital and Director of Intensive Care at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.
Simon is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School, a past-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Clinical Trials Group. He is Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the International Sepsis Forum, Treasurer of the Global Sepsis Alliance, and a member of the World Sepsis Day Steering Committee.
Simon’s major research interest is the design and conduct of large scale randomised controlled trials in critical care and he has led some of the largest and most influential critical care trials conducted anywhere to date.
Simon is an Editor of The Oxford Textbook of Critical Care (2nd Ed.), the Critical Care Section Editor for The Oxford Textbook of Medicine (6th Ed.), and in 2012-2014 was Critical Care guest editor for The New England Journal of Medicine.
Life after sepsis - is it worth living?
As more people survive episodes of severe sepsis the serious long term adverse effects on health and quality of life have become apparent
Sepsis is the life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, failure of multiple organs, and death. Organ failure and death are more likely if sepsis is not recognized early and not treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and contributes to or causes half of all deaths occurring in hospitals in the USA.
Many people who survive severe sepsis recover completely and their lives return to normal. But some people, especially those who had pre-existing chronic diseases, may experience permanent organ damage, the common problems that afflict those who have recovered from sepsis have been termed the post-sepsis syndrome.
Longer term effects of sepsis include
• Sleep disturbance including insomnia
• Experiencing nightmares, hallucinations, flashbacks and panic attacks
• Muscle and joint pains which can be severe and disabling
• Extreme tiredness and fatigue
• Inability to concentrate
• Impaired mental (cognitive) functioning
• Loss of confidence and self-belief