Have you noticed all of the posters and things around at the moment about Sepsis? I’m guessing you have because they have been literally everywhere lately. I have seen them, now did you actually read them and take note about what they said and what to look out for? No, me either. Well this post is to say PLEASE take note and if you feel like something isn’t right then it probably isn’t.
Why am I even telling you this? Right now my baby is in hospital quite poorly with suspected sepsis and if I had known the signs and symptoms maybe I would have listened more to my instincts and not just let the doctors tell me it was just tonsillitis. ( I even said to Gareth I have never seen anyone with sickness and turning blue with tonsillitis). As that was what the doctors had told us it was and had given her medication we just assumed that was the case.
What is Sepsis?
Although sepsis is often referred to as either blood poisoning or septicaemia, these terms refer to the invasion of bacteria into the bloodstream.
Sepsis can affect multiple organs or the entire body, even without blood poisoning or septicaemia.
Sepsis can also be caused by viral or fungal infections, although bacterial infections are by far the most common cause.
Without quick treatment, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death. **
What are the signs of sepsis in children under 5?
Go straight to A&E or call 999 if your child
- looks mottled, bluish or pale
- is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- feels abnormally cold to touch
- is breathing very fast
- has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- has a fit or convulsion
Get medical advice urgently from NHS 111
If your child has any of the symptoms listed below, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.
- temperature over 38C in babies under three months
- temperature over 39C in babies aged three to six months
- any high temperature in a child who cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
- low temperature (below 36C – check three times in a 10-minute period)
- finding it much harder to breathe than normal – looks like hard work
- making “grunting” noises with every breath
- can’t say more than a few words at once (for older children who normally talk)
- breathing that obviously “pauses”
- not had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours
Eating and drinking
- new baby under one month old with no interest in feeding
- not drinking for more than eight hours (when awake)
- bile-stained (green), bloody or black vomit/sick
Activity and body
- soft spot on a baby’s head is bulging
- eyes look “sunken”
- child cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
- baby is floppy
- weak, “whining” or continuous crying in a younger child
- older child who’s confused
- not responding or very irritable
- stiff neck, especially when trying to look up and down
If your child has any of these symptoms, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111. **
What are the symptoms in older children and adults?
Early symptoms of sepsis may include:
- a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
- chills and shivering
- a fast heartbeat
- fast breathing
In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock (when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level) develop soon after.
These can include:
- feeling dizzy or faint
- a change in mental state – such as confusion or disorientation
- nausea and vomiting
- slurred speech
- severe muscle pain
- severe breathlessness
- less urine production than normal – for example, not urinating for a day
- cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin
- loss of consciousness **
When to get help and diagnosis
Seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111 if you’ve recently had an infection or injury and you have possible early signs of sepsis.
If sepsis is suspected, you’ll usually be referred to hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.
Severe sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies. If you think you or someone in your care has one of these conditions, go straight to A&E or call 999.
Sepsis is often diagnosed based on simple measurements such as your temperature, heart rate and breathing rate. You may need to give a blood test.
Other tests can help determine the type of infection, where it’s located and which body functions have been affected. These include:
- urine or stool samples
- a wound culture – where a small sample of tissue, skin or fluid is taken from the affected area for testing
- respiratory secretion testing – taking a sample of saliva, phlegm or mucus
- blood pressure tests
- imaging studies – such as an X-ray, ultrasound scan or computerised tomography (CT) scan
Please if you do nothing else today make a note of these symptoms they could save yours or your child’s life.
We are awaiting the results of tests for Beth and I will fully write-up what happened once she is home but I will tell you she had almost all of those symptoms and we weren’t even slightly aware!
Please feel free to share this information with friends
** All facts and information given from the NHS Direct website
Thank you for reading!