Thursday, August 25, 2016


An article was posted a couple of days ago by Kaiser Health News that caught my eye. It talked about a 12-year old boy who cut himself while diving for a ball in a gym. He died four days later. The diagnosis: Septic shock.

Septic shock also took Aunty. Hers stemmed from a urinary tract infection. 

I found the following from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website. I think that the main thing to remember is that if you suspect a septic infection MENTION IT TO THE DOCTOR. Early treatment is critical.

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

When can you get sepsis?

Sepsis can occur to anyone, at any time, from any type of infection, and can affect any part of the body. It can occur even after a minor infection.

What causes sepsis?

Infections can lead to sepsis. An infection occurs when germs enter a person’s body and multiply, causing illness, and organ and tissue damage.  Certain infections and germs lead to sepsis most often. Sepsis is often associated with infections of the lungs (e.g., pneumonia), urinary tract (e.g., kidney), skin, and gut. Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and some types of Streptococcus (strep) are common germs that can cause sepsis.

Are certain people with an infection more likely to get sepsis?

Anyone can develop sepsis from an infection. However, sepsis occurs most often in people aged 65 years or older or less than 1 year, have weakened immune systems, or have chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes).
A CDC evaluation found more than 90% of adults and 70% of children who developed sepsis had a health condition that may have put them at risk.
Ask your doctor about your risk for getting sepsis. If you suspect sepsis, ask your doctor, "Could it be sepsis?"

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

There is no single sign or symptom of sepsis. It is, rather, a combination of symptoms. Since sepsis is the result of an infection, symptoms can include infection signs (diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, etc.), as well as ANY of the symptoms below:
  • Shivering, fever, or very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Short of breath
  • High heart rate

What should I do if I think I have an infection or sepsis?

  • Get immediate medical attention if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection or sepsis. This is a medical emergency.
  • If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better from an infection, ask your doctor about sepsis.

How is sepsis diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose sepsis using a number of physical findings like fever, increased heart rate, and increased breathing rate. They also do lab tests that check for signs of infection.
Many of the symptoms of sepsis, such as fever and difficulty breathing, are the same as in other conditions, making sepsis hard to diagnose in its early stages.

How is sepsis treated?

People with sepsis are usually treated in the hospital. Doctors try to treat the infection, keep the vital organs working, and prevent a drop in blood pressure.
Doctors treat sepsis with antibiotics as soon as possible. Many patients receive oxygen and intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain normal blood oxygen levels and blood pressure. Other types of treatment, such as assisting breathing with a machine or kidney dialysis, may be necessary. Sometimes surgery is required to remove tissue damaged by the infection.

Are there any long-term effects of sepsis?

Many people who get sepsis recover completely and their lives return to normal. But some people may experience permanent organ damage. For example, in someone who already has kidney problems, sepsis can lead to kidney failure that requires lifelong dialysis.
How can I prevent sepsis?
  1. Get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, and any other infections that could lead to sepsis. Talk to your doctor for more information.
  2. Prevent infections that can lead to sepsis by:
    • Cleaning scrapes and wounds
    • Practicing good hygiene (e.g., hand washing)
  3. Know that time matters. If you have a severe infection, look for signs like: shivering, fever, or very cold, extreme pain or discomfort, clammy or sweaty skin, confusion or disorientation, short of breath, and high heart rate.


Honolulu Aunty said...


Leslie's pics said...


Susan said...

I knew someone who died from this too. It was very sudden. Good info, Tks.

K and S said...

wow, good to know, thanks!

jalna said...

Isn't it, Aunty?!

Yah, Les!

Just like Aunty, Susan . . . so fast.

Welcome, Kat.

Susie said...

Wow, thanks for all the info. Taking care of mom this info will help cuz we always worry about a bladder infection.:(

Anonymous said...

UTIs are very common to older/dementia ppl and can actually kill them. They don't know or can't push all the urine out and therefore they get an undiagnosed UTI. In my mom it worsened her dementia and she slept over 23 hours the first time she got the UTI. The second it got worse and worse and eventually that lead to her recent stay at Hale Nani. UTI is nasty, nasty when you are older not like us when we're younger, just a treatment of CIPRO cures it promptly. In the elderly it manifests other issues, just from a simple 'UTI'.

Mark Shelby said...

In 1991 I almost died from pneumonia. I had 4 IV bags on me. Two on each arm, Multiple antibiotics. I asked the Doc how am I doing, and he said we will have to wait and see. (Can you imagine heating that?) You have a type of pneumonia that we have never seen before! Yikes!

I was in the hospital for 10 days! Praying long and hard every day. With the Lords help and my will to live I made it home!

Dd said...

reached out to some friends sharing this info, found out that a really good friend of mine... his classmate at 16 years old passed away after a small injury of a cut on his foot, swimming in a stream...scary

jalna said...

For sure, Susie.

More so with Aunty, Anon, because she couldn't communicate.

Whoa, Mark.

So scary, Dd.

Mark Shelby said...

My dear cousin from Minnesota passed away last year after surgery in a hospital on her neck. She caught that disease that you can catch in a hospital. I forget what it's called right now. Pretty sad that you go in to get fixed and you die from a lethal bug! They have no cure for this one.

jalna said...

Oh, that IS so sad, Mark.

Erick said...

Scary stuff, thanks for sharing.