Farming’s Silent Killer…

Did you know? At least 245,000 in the UK are affected by sepsis each year and at least 48,000 people who develop sepsis lose their lives in sepsis-related illnesses every year?

Sepsis is one of the oldest described illnesses (first described back in 400 BCE) but how much do we really know about this ‘silent killer’ that takes the lives of five people every hour in the UK?

First thing’s first – sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It occurs when the body’s immune system – which normally helps to protect us and fight infection – goes into overdrive and can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and sometimes death, especially if it’s not recognised early and treated quickly.

According to UK Sepsis Trust Founder & CEO Dr. Ron Daniels: “Sepsis is indiscriminate: while it primarily affects very young children and older adults and is also more common in people with underlying health conditions, it can sometimes be triggered in those who are otherwise fit and healthy.

So how does this relate to the farming community?

Dr Daniels continues: “Recent experience suggests that the farming community is also more susceptible to sepsis: due to the nature of their work; their resilience and can-do attitude; their often rural, isolated setting; and a reluctance to have time off and/or seek medical attention when not feeling well.

“The fact is that farmers and labourers are at increased risk of becoming infected, so any cuts should be cleaned thoroughly, disinfected and covered before returning to work.

One family that knows the risk of sepsis all too well is that of farmer Hannah Brown. 

Hannah was 26 years old when she passed away on 26 March, 2021 – just two days after developing sepsis. Hannah left behind her fiancé Ben Richardson, and daughter, Millie.

Originally from Newton-le-Willows in North Yorkshire, Hannah farmed at Dufton, near Appleby, in Cumbria and was well-known on the region’s stock-showing circuit.

Her sudden death left the farming community in shock, prompting family and friends to join forces with UK Sepsis Trust to launch a campaign video raising awareness of sepsis which won the prestigious People’s Choice Award at the Charity Film Awards earlier this year.

This month, the UK Sepsis Trust have launched a brand new partnership with NFU Mutual following a donation made by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. The donation has enabled the UK Sepsis Trust to produce an awareness film specifically for the farming community, which aims to raise awareness of what sepsis is, the signs and symptoms of someone who may be affected and, of course, how to get help.


To learn more visit


stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9Farming’s Silent Killer…