In Memory Of...

It seems like yesterday that our healthy 23 year-old daughter, Erin, entered the hospital for elective surgery. Five days later she was gone. A victim of Sepsis.

 


About the Author

     I'm Erin's dad, and solely responsible for the content in this section. I needed a  non medical / non political / differing view, area to express my opinions and that of others, so we can talk candidly about sepsis. Erin's death and many others was preventable!!!!!!! I am told at least one half of the 258,000 people that die annually should not have happened.  CURRENT Treatment is all about early recognition, appropriate immediate emergency care with correct antibiotics/fluids and possible surgery to eliminate the source of infection ASAP.

   I was with Erin when she died. She had a look on her face that begged," Can't you do something, Dad"?  That expression is my driving force!

     Fact is, Erin like so many others die primarily from failure to rescue, which is not treating properly complications that arise from another condition. Erin actually died from medical malpractice. Sepsis deaths are largely preventable. However, less that 37 percent of hospitals follow the best practices of sepsis care.Three years after Erin left us, I got sepsis from a UTI and truly believe I orchestrated my own survival, based on what I did not know to do for, My Bug, Erin! It was all about early recognition! You must in control of your health care or have a healthcare advocate.
   Be knowledgeable! Don't rely on others to save you or your loved one's. No one loves you or your loved ones, like you do! 
  You must take responsibility for your own healthcare and that of your family! I have many doctors of my own and not because they are friends but because I know they are competent and they will treat   me to the best of their professional ability.

     I was told at her bedside that morning, " there are lot's of Erin's." I was stunned to find evidence later showing, not only 258,000 deaths from sepsis every year in the U.S., but almost an equal number of deaths from medical errors 
   There are 18 million + deaths worldwide yearly from sepsis. It could be the #1 cause of death worldwide and few people have heard about this syndrome. 
How Can this Be?
   I'm not a physician, nor a sepsis expert, but I  practiced in the health care field as an endodontist for 30 years, before retiring. I know the system of silence that exists in the health professions.  There is no malpractice, if the standard of care is followed. We also know all of things don't work out, in spite of the best efforts.
    The majority of blog material comes from the internet and my objective is to make sepsis understandable to the lay person. I also have met lot's of knowledgeable people concerning sepsis and they have been a valuable resource to me. 

    So, if I can help you in anyway to find answers about sepsis, help you through a crisis situation or get you involved.  please feel free to contact me via e-mail: flatc41@aol.com .

   If you or a loved one is in crisis concerning sepsis and not getting answers, feel free to call my cell at anytime; Carl Flatley :  (727) 460-7765.

I am not a or sepsis expert or physician, but I know some!

 

 

 


B.U.G.S.
Battle Underway Getting Sepsis

 

     4/22/15

Listeria meningitis

 
This severe form of meningitis is caused by food contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Past outbreaks have been caused by smoked salmon, soft cheese, raw milk, raw milk cheese (even hard varieties like gouda), sprouts, deli meat and prepackaged caramel apples. P. O. Attns.

 

     4/22/15

NIH sepsis fact sheet.

 
More than a million Americans suffer from sepsis every year. It's a complication that occurs after advanced infection. Infection-fighting agents in the blood cause the whole body to become inflamed. Severe cases can lead to septic shock, where the inflamed tissue causes blood clots that keep oxygen from getting to vital organs. This can cause organ failure and a deadly drop in blood pressure. Sepsis and septic shock kill one in four people who develop it. Symptoms include a high fever (above 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and increased breathing and heart rate. As the illness becomes more severe, the patient may experience chills, problems breathing, patches of discolored skin, and unconsciousness. It's usually diagnosed by a blood test, though it can be diagnosed many other ways depending on the underlying infection. Possible treatments for sepsis include infection-fighting medication, large amounts of IV fluid, and, in some cases, surgery. Those with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly or sick ICU patients, are more at risk to get sepsis.

 

     4/18/15

The Mayo Clinic says:

 
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail. If sepsis progresses to septic shock, blood pressure drops dramatically, which may lead to death. Anyone can develop sepsis, but it's most common and most dangerous in older adults or those with weakened immune systems. Early treatment of sepsis, usually with antibiotics and large amounts of intravenous fluids, improves chances for survival.

 

     4/8/15

Sepsis Resurgence

 
RECENT RESURGENCE: According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis has been increasing in the U.S. This may be due to an aging population or drug-resistant bacteria. Cancer treatments, HIV, and transplant drugs may mean that more Americans are living with weakened immune systems. Sepsis is also part of the danger of Ebola. Many Ebola patients die after going into septic shock from the ebolavirus. Because there is no treatment available, one of the primary concerns of physicians treating Ebola patients is to keep the patient from going into septic shock. The first case in North America was seen in September of last year. The man died after developing sepsis. (Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sepsis/basics/causes/con-20031900, http://www.sepsisalliance.org/sepsis_and/ebola/)

 

     4/4/15

Dry gangrene

 
Dry gangrene, if it does not become infected and progress to wet gangrene, usually does not cause sepsis or cause the patient to die. However, it can result in local tissue death with the tissue eventually being sloughed off. Usually, the progression of dry gangrene is much slower (days to months) than wet gangrene because the vascular compromise slowly develops due to the progression of diseases that can result in local arterial blockage over time. The stages are similar to wet gangrene (see above), except there is no infection, pus, wetness, or crackly-feeling skin because there is no gas production in the uninfected tissue. There are many diseases that may lead to dry gangrene; the most common are diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and tobacco addiction (smoking). Infrequently, dry gangrene can occur quickly, over a few hours to days, when a rapid arterial blockage occurs (for example, an arterial blood clot suddenly occludes a small artery to a toe). Dry gangrene often produces cool, dry, and discolored appendages (sometimes termed "mummified") with no oozing fluid or pus, hence the term "dry." Medicinenet.com

 

     4/4/15

Wet gangrene and sepsis.

 
Wet (also sometimes termed "moist") gangrene is the most dangerous type of gangrene because if it is left untreated, the patient usually develops sepsis and dies within a few hours or days. Wet gangrene results from an untreated (or inadequately treated) infection in the body where the local blood supply has been reduced or stopped by tissue swelling, gas production in tissue, bacterial toxins, or all of these factors in combination. Additionally, conditions that compromise the blood flow such as burns or vascular trauma (for example, a knife wound that cuts off arterial flow) can occur first. Then the locally compromised area becomes infected, which can result in wet gangrene. Wet gangrene is the type that is most commonly thought of when the term gangrene is used. Wet gangrene often produces an oozing fluid or pus, hence the term "wet." Early stages of wet gangrene may include signs of infection, aching pain with swelling, a reddish skin color or blanched appearance if the area is raised above level of the heart, coolness on the skin surface, ulceration, and a crackly sensation when the skin is pressed due to gas in the tissue. These stages may progress rapidly over hours to days. Medicinenet.com

 

     2/28/15

Who gets sepsis?

 
Sepsis does not discriminate. It affects all age groups and is not respectful of lifestyle choices. Vulnerable groups such as new born babies, small children and the elderly are most at risk, as are those with chronic disease and weakened immune systems. It is not a disease confined to healthcare settings, though most patients with established sepsis will be cared for in hospital. Age, sex, and race or ethnic group can all influence the incidence of severe sepsis, which is higher in infants and elderly persons than in other age groups, higher in males than in females, and higher in blacks than in whites [9]. People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS, kidney or liver disease, are also at increased risk, as are pregnant women and those who have experienced a severe burn or physical injury WSD

 

     2/26/15

National Burden of Clostridium difficile Infections.

 
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a germ that causes major colon inflammation and deadly diarrhea, caused almost half a million infections in the United States in a single year, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 29,000 patients with a C. difficile infection died within 30 days of initial diagnosis from illnesses such as sepsis. Of those, about 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly attributable to C. difficile infections.

 

     2/24/15

Negative effects of antibiotics!

 
The negative effects of antibiotic use appear even far-more reaching than previously thought. A new study published online in the journal Gut finds that antibiotics affect the microorganisms that live in the gut in more broad and complex ways than previously known. Known side effects of antibiotics include disrupting the natural and beneficial microbiota of the gastrointestinal system. Other unwanted effects likely affect the immune system, glucose metabolism, food absorption, obesity, stress, and behavior. Read more at http://www.business2community.com/health-wellness/negative-effects-long-term-antibiotic-use-even-far-reaching-estimated-01154620#giV2PWdtMHZfECuK.99

 

     2/24/15

Sepsis is a commonly occurring condition triggered by an infection:

 
In an attempt to overcome the infection, our bodies release a battery of chemicals and hormones causing inflammation, and send white blood cells to fight the invading organisms. When this response becomes uncontrolled, inflammation affects the entire body and can lead to organ failure: this is known as the sepsis syndrome. Although many patients return to a normal life, those who survive the condition may experience longstanding physical effects, and some suffer from psychological difficulties resulting from their prolonged illness. Early recognition and application of the ’Sepsis Six’ interventions dramatically improves a patient’s prospects. Sepsis UK

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