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 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. 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: .

   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!




Battle Underway Getting Sepsis



Sepsis: NIH: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Sepsis is a serious illness. It happens when your body has an overwhelming immune response to a bacterial infection. The chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection trigger widespread inflammation. This leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. They cause poor blood flow, which deprives your body's organs of nutrients and oxygen. In severe cases, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, blood pressure drops and the heart weakens, leading to septic shock. Anyone can get sepsis, but the risk is higher in People with weakened immune systems Infants and children The elderly People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and kidney or liver disease People suffering from a severe burn or physical trauma Common symptoms of sepsis are fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, confusion, and disorientation. Doctors diagnose sepsis using a blood test to see if the number of white blood cells is abnormal. They also do lab tests that check for signs of infection. People with sepsis are usually treated in hospital intensive care units. Doctors try to treat the infection, sustain the vital organs, and prevent a drop in blood pressure. Many patients receive oxygen and intravenous fluids. Other types of treatment, such as respirators or kidney dialysis, may be necessary. Sometimes, surgery is needed to clear up an infection.



The Sepsis Six via WFPICCS

Just by doing these six simple things in the first hour, you can double your patient’s chance of survival! The Sepsis Six are: Administer high flow oxygen. Take blood cultures Give broad spectrum antibiotics Give intravenous fluid challenges Measure serum lactate and haemoglobin Measure accurate hourly urine output




Sepsis is also called systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Sepsis is a life- threatening illness. Your body's response to a bacterial infection usually causes it. Your immune system goes into overdrive, overwhelming normal processes in your blood. The result is that small blood clots form, blocking blood flow to vital organs. This can lead to organ failure. Babies, old people and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to get sepsis. But even healthy people can become deathly ill from it. A quick diagnosis can be crucial, because one third of people who get sepsis die from it. Sepsis is usually treated in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). IV antibiotics and fluids may be given to try to knock out the infection and to keep blood pressure from dropping too low. Patients may also need respirators to help them breathe. People with paralysis are especially susceptible to sepsis. It is important for them to receive immediate and proper treatment as it can quickly progress to a life-threatening situation.



Vaccinating children protects their grandparents.

Small children and the elderly are more susceptible to infection by pneumococcus bacteria. This can lead to pneumonia, middle ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis – and to sepsis. Today there are effective vaccines for small children that lead to immunity to major pneumococcus pathogens. Vaccinating small children leads to a greater mechanism known as "herd immunity", disrupting chains of infection and resulting in fewer pneumococcus infections even among those not vaccinated. WSD



Preventing infections in cancer patients.

People receiving chemotherapy are at risk for developing an infection when their white blood cell count is low. White blood cells are the body's main defense against infection. This condition, called neutropenia, is common after receiving chemotherapy. For patients with this condition, any infection can become serious quickly, as in septic! CDC



Can sepsis be treated successfully?

Yes. The first hours of treatment are the most important. Patients must receive appropriate antibiotic therapy as soon as possible. Blood cultures and cultures from the site of infection under suspicion should be taken to detect the cause. Patients should also have their blood lactate levels measured, as this is a sign of dysfunction in the circulatory system. Patients with severe signs, such as hypotension and elevated lactate levels, should also receive fluids. Depending on the severity of organ dysfunction, they may require treatment in an intensive care unit. If the sepsis has been caused by an infected foreign object in the body, a stone in the renal pelvis, or a ruptured intestine, then antibiotics alone are not enough. In these cases the focus of the sepsis or the foreign object needs to be removed surgically. WSD



Types of Healthcare-associated Infections / CDC

Modern healthcare employs many types of invasive devices and procedures to treat patients and to help them recover. Infections can be associated with the devices used in medical procedures, such as catheters or ventilators. These healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) include central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Infections may also occur at surgery sites, known as surgical site infections. The CDC works to monitor and prevent these infections because they are an important threat to patient safety.



Sepsis explained by Emcare.

As is the case with most diseases, early detection and treatment is the cornerstone to improving patient outcomes. A higher index of suspicion for early sepsis must be employed especially for those on either end of the age spectrum. There is no one specific sign of early sepsis; however, common findings of fever, tachycardia, tachypnea and hypotension, if not addressed, can lead to development and/or worsening of SIRS. If undiagnosed or inadequately treated, the inflammatory cascade will likely continue resulting in end organ damage and possibly organ failure and death. Aggressive fluid resuscitation, oxygenation and ventilation, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and continuous monitoring (invasive if indicated in an ICU setting) will help mitigate further extension and help improve outcomes.



The Intensive Care Unit Support Teams for Ex-Patients (ICUsteps)

ICUsteps was founded in 2005 by ex-patients, their relatives and ICU staff to support patients and their families through the long road to recovery from critical illness. Our aims are to: support patients and relatives affected by critical illness, promote recognition of the physical and psychological consequences of critical illness through education of the medical profession and the general public, and encourage research into treatment and the prevention of these issues. ICUsteps is the United Kingdom's only support group for people who have been affected by critical illness and has helped many former patients, their relatives and medical staff from organisations around the world.



Global Sepsis Alliance sepsis facts.

*Sepsis affects over 26 million people worldwide each year. One third die *It is the largest killer of children and new-born infants in the world *Sepsis is increasing at an annual rate of 8-13% Sepsis is a life-threatening illness arising from the body’s response to infection. More common than heart attacks, and more deadly than stroke, sepsis strikes with devastating ferocity in all countries, and is the leading cause of maternal death. Sepsis respects no age, race, gender, or economic status. Sepsis kills far more people than AIDS, and requires a global fight of equal magnitude. GSA

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