One-in-five patients suffering from sepsis die despite a reduction in the documented mortality rate.

The HSE National Sepsis Report for 2016 has found a 30% decrease in the number of people who have died from it over the past five years.

Speaking at the HSE National Sepsis Summit in Dublin, Minister for Health Simon Harris said there has been significant learning since the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2013 after she was admitted to the hospital when she was 17 weeks' pregnant and miscarrying.

Mr Harris said lives have been saved since the sepsis guidelines were introduced.

The report launched today found that 14,000 people got sepsis last year, which represents a 67% increase in documented cases since 2015.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by infection which leads to organ malfunction and failure.

HSE National Clinical Lead for Sepsis, Dr Vilda Hamilton, said the reduction in the mortality rate is due to better recognition and treatment in hospitals.

However, she said there is no single test to diagnose sepsis but clinicians can look out for a number of signs and symptoms.

Mr Harris said sepsis is a serial killer and new educational and support tools have been introduced to help clinicians in their sepsis management on an ongoing basis.