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 are preventable!!!!!!! She not only died from Septic Shock but also MEDICAL MALPRACTICE! It is my opinion now that if medical personnel do not treat sepsis as a medical emergency, it is truly medical malpractice!!! I think the courts will find it that way also. 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: .

   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



The truth needs to be told about our daughters death!

Erin died from sepsis, secondary to medical malpractice! Medical Errors in Hospitals are Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S. Wednesday, February 3, 2016 The Journal of Patient Safety discussed recent studies which have shown that preventable medical errors are responsible for between 200,000 and 400,000 patient deaths per year in U.S. hospitals. These errors include facility acquired infections, medication errors, omissions in treatment, communication errors between health care providers, nerve or vessel injuries, wrong operations, injuries to organs during surgical procedures, blood clots, diagnostic errors, and wound infections. The number of deaths caused by medical errors committed in a hospital, but which occur after a patient is discharged from a hospital, is equally large. The cost of deaths due to preventable medical errors is obviously staggering in terms of the emotional loss felt by the family members and loved ones of those who have needlessly died, but the financial loss is shocking as well. By some estimates, medical errors cost the United States between $15 and 19 billion per year in additional medical costs including ancillary services, prescription drug services, and in-patient and out-patient care. Interestingly, one study found that patients reported 3 times as many preventable adverse events than were indicated in their records. This study also found that physicians often refuse to report serious adverse events, with cardiologists being the highest of the non-reporting physician groups. COPYRIGHT © 2016, STARK & STARK



Here is the problem with sepsis!

Despite the introduction of the surviving sepsis campaign, which has seen some improvement, sepsis has an unacceptably high mortality rate. Evidence shows that early recognition and aggressive treatment improves patient outcome, yet studies demonstrate that compliance with the care bundles is poor. There are no set protocols in place for ambulance clinicians despite having the skills and means to effectively treat septic patients. Instead ambulance clinicians appear to rely on historical practice rather than scientific precedence. A proposed prehospital pathway has been devised by Daniels et al. (2011) but further study is required and a standardised prehospital care pathway is yet to be established. Since the introduction of stroke and myocardial infarction pathways, vast improvements have been documented in patient outcomes. Sepsis requires the same priority and clear treatment goals in order to see the same improvement. Simple, routine improvements in paramedic’s knowledge and practice could provide significant benefits. The lack of level one research in the pre hospital setting means the exact effect of paramedic interventions remains uncertain. This would certainly benefit from further study. BTN 2016



How to spot sepsis in your child!

If your child is unwell with either a fever or a very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours) then bear sepsis in mind. There is no one single symptom of sepsis, but some signs you can look out for are: Your child feels abnormally cold to the touch. They look mottled, blush or have very pale skin. They have a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it. They’re breathing very fast. They have a fit or convulsion. They are lethargic or hard to wake up. If your child is under five and is not feeding, vomiting repeatedly and hasn’t had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours, there is also a possibility they may have sepsis. If your child has one or more of these signs, see a doctor urgently and tell them you are worried about sepsis. Please do not be afraid to raise the idea of sepsis and name it. If you do not say ‘sepsis’ there is a chance they will not consider it and may miss a precious opportunity to diagnose and treat in time. From: Amanda Prowse’s new novel, Three-and-a-half Heartbeats



The Global Sepsis Alliance.

To raise the awareness of sepsis by educating patients, families and healthcare professionals to ensure that they treat sepsis as a medical emergency, a voluntary health organization, the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA), was founded in 2004. The GSA supports the efforts of over one million caregivers in more than 70 countries as they seek to better understand and combat what many experts believe to be the leading cause of death worldwide. The GSA began World Sepsis Day, September 13, in 2012 with the motto “Stop Sepsis, Save Lives”. The World Sepsis Declaration pronounced five global goals with key targets to be achieved by 2020.



CDC advice on sepsis 2016.

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. # Sepsis can occur even after a minor infection. # Sepsis is dangerous and can be DEADLY. # Over1 million cases of sepsis occur each year and up to half of the people who get sepsis will die. What can you do to PREVENT sepsis? Get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, and any other infections that could lead to sepsis. Talk to your doctor for more information. Visit : Prevent infections that can lead to sepsis by: • Cleaning scrapes and wounds • Practicing good hygiene (e.g., hand washing, bathing regularly) If you have an infection, look for signs like: fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, confusion, and disorientation. What should you do if you think you have sepsis? Seek medical treatment if you have signs of sepsis following an infection. CDC/gov



Life after sepsis. POST SEPSIS SYNDROME!

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, standardized rehabilitation programs for sepsis patients further slows or hinders full recovery.



How can I prevent an infection / sepsis

In addition to receiving treatment from your doctor, the following suggestions can help reduce your risk for getting an infection: • Wash your hands often and ask others around you to do the same. • Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. • Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot or other vaccinations. • Take a bath or shower every day (unless told otherwise). • Use an unscented lotion to try to keep your skin from getting dry or cracked. • Clean your teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush. • Use a mouthwash to prevent mouth sores (if your doctor recommends one). • Do not share food, drink cups, utensils or other personal items, such as toothbrushes. Cook meat and eggs all the way through to kill any germs. • Carefully wash raw fruits and vegetables. • Protect your skin from direct contact with pet bodily waste (urine or feces). • Wash your hands immediately after touching an animal or removing its waste, even after wearing gloves. • Use gloves for gardening.



What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis?

Sepsis is a bad outcome from an infection. There is no single sign or symptom of sepsis. It is, rather, a combination of symptoms. Symptoms can include ANY of the following: S Shivering, fever, or very cold E Extreme pain or general discomfort (‘worst ever”) P Pale or discolored skin S Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused I “I feel like I might die” S Short of breath



Treat sepsis as soon as possible.

Steve Okhravi, MD, founder of New York City health practice and urgent care center Emergency Medical Care, says "The only way to prevent sepsis is to recognize it early and aggressively treat it…The method I've used in emergency departments for early detection were to not wait for the results of chest X-rays or cultures to determine sepsis, but to look at fever (anything above 100.4 degrees), heart rate (above 105 beats per minute), blood pressure (systolic pressure lower than 90), oxygen saturation levels (below 95 percent) and confusion. If any of these symptoms are present, we start antibiotic treatment right away. Waiting for results from other exams could allow the body to go into shock. It's important to note that New York state mandates hospital to have an ED protocol to treat sepsis as soon as possible. I don't often agree with regulations like these but, in this case, the mandate was necessary to help save lives. The mandate provided hospitals with concrete guidelines, while still allowing each facility to modify the protocols to meet their individual needs."



Group B Strep!

Most group B Strep infections in newborn babies are preventable yet, on average in the UK: One newborn baby a day develops group B Strep infection One baby a week dies from group B Strep infection One baby a fortnight who survives the infection is left with long-term disabilities – physical, mental, or both Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies and the leading cause of meningitis in babies under three months. The rate of group B Strep infection in newborn babies in the UK has not fallen over the past 10 years, despite well-implemented risk-based prevention guidelines. GBSS

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