Derryn Hinch, who has been suffering a serious but undisclosed illness, says he had a brush with death last week.Hinch today told the Nine Network he required emergency treatment in a Melbourne hospital for blood poisoning and related complications.

He again declined to specify what illness he has suffered all year, saying only that the latest medical problems were caused and exacerbated by his weakened immune system.

“I got blood poisoning. I got septicaemia and suddenly my kidneys didn’t like it. They just shut down and I had total renal failure,” Hinch said of his most recent emergency.

“And, because I’d been sick earlier this year, for different reasons, my immune system was stuffed.”

Hinch said he was still attached to a medical device that pumped penicillin into his system “24 hours” through a tube.

“It took a while to get the right mix and pump me full of stuff. It has been life saving,” the controversial Southern Cross Radio commentator said.

Hinch was also told he came close to dying.

“I didn’t see any white flashes of light and stuff, I didn’t go the other side and see there was nothing there, as Kerry Packer once said … but I’m told I came very close.

“You can’t kill weeds, especially noxious ones. I’m coming back,” Hinch said.