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

 

     8/28/14

What is the cytokine storm?

 
In essence, a cytokine storm is an SOS signal that causes the immune system to launch its entire arsenal of weapons all at once. This last-ditch, kamikaze attack hurts the virus. But it leaves behind tons of collateral damage. Blood vessels take the brunt of it. "The cytokine storm makes the blood vessel walls more permeable. So the arteries, veins and capillaries start to leak blood and plasma. The storm also triggers a big release of nitric oxide, which thins out the blood and damages vessels further. All these factors combine together to reduce blood pressure to dangerous levels, Geisbert says. "So you don't die of blood loss, but from something similar to severe septic shock." NPR

 

     8/25/14

HEALTHCARE- ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS (HAIS)/sepsis.

 
HAIs are infections that are associated with receiving treatment in a healthcare setting. For each type of infection affecting a patient in a healthcare setting, specific criteria are used to determine whether the infection is an HAI or not. For example, if a blood stream infection develops in a patient on or after the third hospital day (day of admission is day one), the infection is considered an HAI. Blood stream infections that occur within the first two hospital days are considered to be community-acquired infections and were picked up in the community before admission to the hospital. These infections can be devastating and even deadly, as in sepsis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospital patients in the United States get nearly 2 million infections each year, while receiving care. That is about one infection for every 20 patients. For more information about HAIs please visit the CDC page on HAIs.

 

     8/23/14

Mastoiditis can cause sepsis and death.

 
Treatment of mastoiditis can be difficult because the mastoid is located deep inside your ear. If treatment is not effective or if the infection is not treated before the mastoid is damaged, serious health problems may result. These include: vertigo (dizziness) facial paralysis hearing loss meningitis (a bacterial infection of the membranes covering your brain and spinal chord) epidural abscess (a collection of pus on the outside of your brain and spinal chord) sepsis (spreading of the infection throughout your body) HEALTH

 

     8/23/14

Effective sepsis protocols include the following:

 
The protocols include: • monitoring for sepsis from the time of admission • utilizing infection prevention measures • screening the patient for risk and sepsis and testing for toxins within three hours of identifying a patient’s risk • dispensing appropriate and timely antibiotics and medications • educating nurses and providers on sepsis identification and prevention.

 

     8/22/14

Sophisticated treatment isn't necessary to treat sepsis effectively.

 
Researchers are exploring new ways to diagnose, reverse, or prevent this serious and costly condition. Treatment for sepsis is most successful if the condition is spotted early and then treated quickly with antibiotics to fight the infection and fluids to maintain blood pressure. In a large NIH-funded clinical trial of sepsis care, Angus and his colleagues found that a relatively simple strategy worked as well at preventing deaths as did more complex and costly approaches. “The study helped to clarify that a lot of the treatment steps we’d been using are essential, but the extra steps with sophisticated and invasive procedures aren’t always necessary to improve survival,” Angus says. NIH

 

     8/22/14

Life after sepsis.

 
After surviving an acute phase of sepsis, a patient may continue to struggle with a long list of serious symptoms. The extent of these complications varies, depending on the severity of sepsis and the length of treatment in an intensive care unit and hospital. Such complications may persist for years after a sepsis episode, often having far-reaching effects on a survivor’s quality of life. The lack of specific, standardised rehabilitation programs for sepsis patients further slows or hinders full recovery. Among the long-term physical effects are functional impairment of the muscles due to atrophy and nerve damage (critical illness polyneuropathy and critical illness myopathy), loss of body substance (cachexia, atrophy), problems with swallowing or speaking, and/or general weakness and low physical resilience. The psychological long-term effects range from cognitive changes and disorders to panic attacks and depression. WSD

 

     8/20/14

Facts about sepsis from the UK Trust.

 
Sepsis is a more common reason for hospital admission than heart attack - and has a higher mortality. The most common causes of severe sepsis are pneumonia, bowel perforation, urinary infection, and severe skin infections. The most common signs of sepsis are a high fever, violent shivering, fainting, cold and pale hands, rapid breathing, confusion or delirium. In the UK, 37,000 people are estimated to die of sepsis each year. From the time sepsis first takes hold, healthcare workers have just hours to deliver the right care. UK Trust

 

     8/19/14

HIV and sepsis.

 
Rates of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are markedly higher among people living with HIV when compared with HIV-negative people, aidsmap reports. These diseases are infections caused by a bacterium; serious forms can include meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis (which affects the blood).

 

     8/19/14

Sepsis according to WSD.org

 
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines, antibiotics, and acute care. Millions of people around the world die of sepsis every year.

 

     8/18/14

Newborn infections and sepsis.

 
Bacterial infections in newborns are difficult to diagnose unless blood tests are performed, and this generally requires testing large amounts of blood. Babies can develop infections either during childbirth or a few days after being born. If the mother is suffering from an active infection, then pathogens can be inhaled by the newborn when passing through the birth canal. After birth, the child may catch contagious bugs on contact with someone who has cold or flu. Pathogens that cause sepsis include Group B Streptococci, E. coli, Listeria, and viruses. Since the baby’s body cannot put up much of a fight, pathogens multiply fast and the newborn can get very sick very quickly. So it is prudent that the infection is discovered and treated soon. Also, typical symptoms like high fever may not occur, and even if they do, they are not indicative of an infection. If a blood culture is performed to identify the pathogens, it takes two to three days for the results to come. Since the infant is put on antibiotics before the results are in, even children without sepsis may end up getting antibiotics or they may be given antibiotics not suited for that particular infection. Unnecessary use of meds also increases the risk of antibiotic resistance. Medical Daily

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