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



Hospital infections.

A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine underscored the problem, observing that while hospitals have reduced the frequency of many infections over the last decade, they could do better if staff complied with recommendations. Those include always washing their hands and using maximal barrier procedures when tubes are being inserted, such as covering patients from head to toe with a sterile drape and wearing sterile caps, masks gowns, and gloves. "The percentage of time that healthcare providers do all of the things they are supposed to do when caring for a patient with a contagious disease can be pretty low," said one of the authors, Dr. Don Goldmann, chief medical and science officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Mass. "There's a lot of room for improvement."



Sepsis largely unknown to the public!

Ask people about sepsis, and listen to the deafening silence. Severe sepsis is the stealth killer; it kills between 30% and 50% of people who develop it, and it is one of the most common causes of death in the US, although the deaths are often attributed to underlying diseases, such as COPD or cancer. There are no public service announcements about sepsis. One does not find the signs or symptoms in the lay press. Only the occasional nightmare story about a young person in whom the diagnosis of severe sepsis was missed and who died as a result. The sad thing is that this happens much more frequently than the reports in the papers show up. Worse yet, physicians remain, in large part, oblivious to the simple approach to infected patients that would prevent many of the deaths. Worst of all, every family has been touched by severe sepsis in one way or another, but they mostly do not know it, because none of the doctors called it that, only “severe pneumonia,” “kidney infection,” “peritonitis.” CDC



How to avoid contracting EV-D68: Enterovirus

Wash your own and your child's hands often with soap and warm water 5 or 6 times a day (there is some evidence that hand washing is better than alcohol hand sanitizers at killing enteroviruses). Wash for at least 20 seconds. Children should sing their ABCs or "Happy Birthday" twice in a row while washing their hands to ensure the proper length in time. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and remind children to keep their hands away from their faces. Asthma management is particularly important at this time of year. Ensure your child is taking the appropriate medications as prescribed by your child's doctor. It is the important that parents have a current Asthma Action Plan for children with asthma. Clean surfaces often, including toys, doorknobs, phone receivers, and keyboards. Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. If fever is present, stay home while sick and for at least one day after the fever is gone, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Seek medical help right away for a child with asthma who is having trouble breathing or suffers worsening respiratory symptoms that do not improve as expected with their usual medicines. Get a flu shot today! CDC



What is the recovery time from sepsis?

Not everyone who develops sepsis will survive. Death rates are high, with 20 percent for sepsis, 40 percent for severe sepsis and more than 60 percent for septic shock. A patient with mild sepsis will need about two weeks to a month to fully recover. People who survive septic shock will need more time, usually between four and six months, before they recover, although they might never fully recover. Septic shock can cause lasting kidney or liver damage. The person also might have blood clots, and in some cases, patients with septic shock lose their fingers or toes. Patients recovering from sepsis are thought to be at an increased risk to develop Clostridium difficile disease, or C-diff, which can cause diarrhea and serious intestinal issues. The antibiotics used to treat sepsis can kill off a person’s normal gut bacteria, which can then allow for C-diff to take over in the large intestine and cause a serious infection. NewsOK



Annoucements following the first RSF Sepsis Forum

The following announcements were made: First ever Congressional Sepsis Caucus in the House of Representatives will be established. Introduction of sepsis legislation in the House of Representatives-the legislation to be known as the Rory Staunton Coordination, Awareness, Research, Education (CARE) Act. A call for the appointment by HHS of an individual to serve as the key person on sepsis (“sepsis czar”). September to become a National Sepsis Awareness Month. A challenge to CDC to allocate money to sepsis education and prevention. A commitment from CMS to continue to expand their work on sepsis protocol implementation Rory Regulations to be implemented in more states.



Sepsis lessons from Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Diane Craig and her colleagues in Santa Clara had spent several years working on a medical condition called sepsis, a bloodstream infection that kills 210,000 Americans each year. She realized that reducing the death rate required physicians to order specific tests and begin aggressive treatment very early on. At the time, this approach was considered risky by some clinicians. But her solutions proved successful. Sepsis deaths declined in her medical center. By summer 2012, all 21 Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California had adopted sepsis protocols and drove sepsis mortality rates 28 percent below the national average. Dr. Kevin



What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD can be different between people – not everyone reacts in the same way. But the most common symptoms are: Reliving the experience Reliving the experience can occur through flashbacks (mental and physical), nightmares, or frightening thoughts. Some people have specific triggers that can set these off, but others may find that the experiences have no rhyme or reason, they just happen.



Cancer and sepsis.

Cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get infections through everyday activities, or from health care settings. One out of every 10 cancer patients who receives chemotherapy gets an infection that requires a hospital visit.



If possible, go to a hospital that sees lots of sepsis patients.

Patients with sepsis are more likely to survive the life-threatening condition when treated at a hospital that sees a higher volume of sepsis cases, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study’s results provide preliminary support for the idea that severe sepsis patients may benefit from treatment at higher-volume specialty centers. SSC



Treat sepsis early – save lives

“Rapid initiation of simple, timely interventions, including antimicrobials and intravenous fluids, can reduce the risk of death by half. Patients with suspected sepsis should be referred immediately to an appropriate facility. Early sepsis treatment is cost effective, and reduces the number of hospital and critical care bed days for patients” - See more at:

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