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: 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

 

     4/18/14

How can the “inflammation” of sepsis result in death?

 
This sepsis flammatory response can lead to dehydration and changes in circulation, for instance a drop in blood pressure. This can compromise the ability of the circulatory system to provide adequately oxygen etc. to the tissues. That leads to dysfunction in various organs, such as the lung, heart, kidney, and brain. It can also lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis is an emergency. WSD

 

     4/17/14

What is sepsis according to Dr.Kevin Tracey.

 
Sepsis occurs when molecules released into the bloodstream to fight an injury or infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is necessary for maintaining good health – without inflammation, wounds and infections would never be controlled or heal. However, persistent and constant inflammation often results in organ dysfunction or damage, leading to death – 28 to 50 percent of people who suffer from sepsis die from the condition. In addition to the toll in human lives, sepsis costs healthcare systems billions of dollars each year – much of the costs attributed to expenses incurred during weeks or months-long stays in intensive care units.

 

     4/16/14

Why is sepsis so dangerous?

 
Usually when you have an infection, your immune system fights it off. To do this, it causes local inflammation as white blood cells rush to the rescue in that part of the body. If the infection is throughout your body, your immune system can go into overdrive. This causes huge inflammation which is often more damaging than the infection itself. UK Blog

 

     4/15/14

Bacteria is the most common culprit in sepsis.

 
Fungi and viruses can also cause sepsis, but bacteria are the most common cause. Severe cases often start from a body-wide infection that spreads through the bloodstream, but a localized infection can also be responsible.Source:National Institute of General Medical Sciences - See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/cold-flu/cf/slideshows/7-facts-about-sepsis/?ap=2001#slide=4

 

     4/4/14

WedMD on sepsis.

 
Sepsis is a serious medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection. Chemicals released into the blood to fight infection trigger widespread inflammation. Inflammation may result in organ damage. Blood clotting during sepsis reduces blood flow to limbs and internal organs, depriving them of nutrients and oxygen. In severe cases, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, infection leads to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure, called septic shock. This can quickly lead to the failure of several organs -- lungs, kidneys, and liver -- causing death.

 

     4/3/14

Trauma and burns also can lead to sepsis.

 
Sepsis may also be the product of trauma. Because the skin is the body’s largest protective barrier, when its integrity is impaired, the body is at a much greater risk for infection that can result in sepsis. Penetrating injuries that impact the vasculature place the patient at a particularly high risk of developing sepsis. Burns over large percentages of the body frequently lead to fatal cases of sepsis as well.

 

     4/3/14

Who gets sepsis and how many? CDC 2014

 
WHO GETS SEPSIS? Anyone can get sepsis, but the risk is higher in: people with weakened immune systems infants and children elderly people people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and kidney or liver disease people suffering from a severe burn or physical trauma. HOW MANY PEOPLE GET SEPSIS? CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimates that, based upon information collected for billing purposes, the number of times people were in the hospital with sepsis or septicemia (another word for sepsis) increased from 621,000 in the year 2000 to 1,141,000 in 2008. (1) Between 28 and 50 percent of people who get sepsis die. (2) The number of cases of sepsis each year has been going up in the United States. This could be because of the following reasons: the population is aging people have more chronic illnesses, people are getting more invasive procedures, immunosuppressive drugs, chemotherapy, and organ transplants, increasing antibiotic resistance and increasing awareness and tracking of sepsis.

 

     4/3/14

A personal letter from Rory Stauntons dad.

 
This is a personal note to everyone on my email list. Two years ago last night our beautiful son Rory died from sepsis. Many of you met him, he was only 12 years old, he was 5ft 9 inches tall and weighed 165 pounds. Before that that awful night we had never heard of sepsis. Now we know that sepsis kills more Americans than AIDS, more Americans than breast, lung and prostate cancer combined and that sepsis is the largest killer of children in the world. I am sending this letter to you because many of you have children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces. The reason you need to read this letter is that sepsis kills indiscriminately and rapidly. But, it need not always be fatal. It is crucial that parents/ caregivers ask their family Pediatrician if they are familiar with sepsis. On March 29, 2012 we brought our sick 12 year old son, Rory to our pediatrician, Dr. Susan Levitzky. We learned many troubling things that night, one being that some doctors do not know the signs or do not “think” sepsis. Rory was a red light for sepsis, Dr Levitzky noted all the signs on her chart including his mottled skin, high temperature and the sharp leg pain, but she did not “think” sepsis or possibly did not know the signs of sepsis, she decided he had a gastric flu. Rory died because his pediatrician and others did not give him the antibiotics and fluids that he needed to survive. Our lives are ruined but action now can save other lives. Information on sepsis needs to be more available. Here are some common signs; high temperature, high pulse rate, chills, low blood pressure, mottling of skin, and confusion. If your child or someone else's child has some of these symptoms and is not getting better ask: Could this be sepsis? Regards Ciaran Staunton

 

     4/2/14

Sepsis according to CDC.

 
Thanks to the Stauntons, the CDC finally put some info on their site. I went to the CDC 10 years ago with similar requests and nothing happened! Sepsis is an illness that affects all parts of the body that can happen in response to an infection and can quickly become life-threatening. In severe cases of sepsis, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, sepsis causes the blood pressure to drop and the heart to weaken, leading to septic shock. Once this happens, multiple organs may quickly fail and the patient can die. Sepsis is a serious illness that is very difficult to predict, diagnose, and treat. Patients who develop sepsis have an increased risk of complications and death and face higher healthcare costs and longer treatment. CDC 2014

 

     4/2/14

What is sepsis according to the CDC 2014

 
Sepsis is a response to an infection. When you get an infection, your immune system releases chemicals into your blood to fight the infection. The chemicals sometimes cause body-wide inflammation, which can lead to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. This impairs blood flow, which damages the body’s organs by depriving them of nutrients and oxygen. Different types of infections can lead to sepsis, including infections of the skin, lungs, urinary tract, abdomen (such as appendicitis), or other part of the body. Healthcare-associated infections, including pneumonia, central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections can sometimes lead to sepsis. MRSA infections of the skin and soft tissue can also lead to sepsis.

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