Sepsis. Is it a word you are familiar with? If you’ve heard of this condition, it’s likely that you have been a victim, or know somebody who has. Despite a high mortality rate (around 3000 deaths a year in Australia) sepsis remains a little-known condition that is underreported and often misdiagnosed. In the UK, with more than 44,000 deaths, it kills more than bowel, prostate and breast cancer combined.I know all this because I am one of the lucky ones. I am a sepsis survivor. Sepsis (which becomes ‘septic shock’ in the third, most critical stage) is the body’s severe reaction to infection. If not recognised quickly, it will kill. Many survivors are left with tissue damage, organ failure, amputations or permanent damage to extremities as well as lasting physiological and psychological effects. The elderly are particularly susceptible, but it can strike at any age.