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. 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



Who gets sepsis?

Sepsis does not discriminate. It affects all age groups and is not respectful of lifestyle choices. Vulnerable groups such as new born babies, small children and the elderly are most at risk, as are those with chronic disease and weakened immune systems. It is not a disease confined to healthcare settings, though most patients with established sepsis will be cared for in hospital. Age, sex, and race or ethnic group can all influence the incidence of severe sepsis, which is higher in infants and elderly persons than in other age groups, higher in males than in females, and higher in blacks than in whites [9]. People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS, kidney or liver disease, are also at increased risk, as are pregnant women and those who have experienced a severe burn or physical injury WSD



National Burden of Clostridium difficile Infections.

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a germ that causes major colon inflammation and deadly diarrhea, caused almost half a million infections in the United States in a single year, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 29,000 patients with a C. difficile infection died within 30 days of initial diagnosis from illnesses such as sepsis. Of those, about 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly attributable to C. difficile infections.



Negative effects of antibiotics!

The negative effects of antibiotic use appear even far-more reaching than previously thought. A new study published online in the journal Gut finds that antibiotics affect the microorganisms that live in the gut in more broad and complex ways than previously known. Known side effects of antibiotics include disrupting the natural and beneficial microbiota of the gastrointestinal system. Other unwanted effects likely affect the immune system, glucose metabolism, food absorption, obesity, stress, and behavior. Read more at



Sepsis is a commonly occurring condition triggered by an infection:

In an attempt to overcome the infection, our bodies release a battery of chemicals and hormones causing inflammation, and send white blood cells to fight the invading organisms. When this response becomes uncontrolled, inflammation affects the entire body and can lead to organ failure: this is known as the sepsis syndrome. Although many patients return to a normal life, those who survive the condition may experience longstanding physical effects, and some suffer from psychological difficulties resulting from their prolonged illness. Early recognition and application of the ’Sepsis Six’ interventions dramatically improves a patient’s prospects. Sepsis UK



How Does Sepsis Occur After Surgery?

The most common cause of sepsis after surgery is infection. This could be infection of the incision, where the surgeon opened to perform the procedure, or an infection that develops after the surgery, such as pneumonia (Sepsis and Pneumonia) or urinary tract infection (UTI) (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections). When you have surgery, it is important to monitor the incision, watching it for signs of infection. This would be Increasing redness around the incision Pus or other fluid coming from the incision Warmer than usual skin around the incision Increased pain around the incision Fever Fatigue Pneumonia is not uncommon after having surgery, which is why it is important to get up and about as quickly as is possible after the operation. Deep breathing and coughing exercises are also helpful in keeping your lungs clear. Patients who had to use a ventilator to breathe, a machine that pushes air into the lungs, are also at a higher risk of developing pneumonia. Other infections, such as UTIs may develop if you had to be catheterized (a tube inserted into your bladder). The longer the catheter remains in place, the higher the risk of infection. Other complications can also increase the risk of sepsis. For example, people with diabetes are at increased risk (Sepsis and Diabetes), as are those liver disease (Sepsis and Liver Disease). SA



How do doctors confirm a diagnosis of sepsis?

Typically a blood test is performed to reveal if the number of white blood cells is abnormal, a common sign of the condition, and to assess the function of bodily organs. Other than detecting bacteria in the bloodstream there is no one test that can specifically confirm or rule out a diagnosis of sepsis. Blood and other bodily fluids such as urine and sputum are also tested for the presence of bacteria and other infectious agents. X-ray and scans may be performed to identify or confirm the source of the infection. Especially in children, if meningitis is suspected a lumbar puncture may be performed to obtain a sample of spinal fluid. ASN



What is Post Sepsis Syndrome (PSS)?

Post-sepsis syndrome describes physical and/or long-term effects that affects up to 50% of people who survive sepsis. Longer term effects of sepsis include: Sleep disturbance including insomnia Experiencing nightmares, hallucinations, flashbacks and panic attacks Muscle and joint pains which can be severe and disabling Extreme tiredness and fatigue Inability to concentrate Impaired mental (cognitive) functioning Loss of confidence and self-belief People who have suffered more severe sepsis and especially those treated in an intensive care unit are at greatest risk of suffering post-sepsis syndrome. Older people who survive severe sepsis are also at greater risk for long-term cognitive impairment and physical problems than people of the same age who were treated for other illnesses. ASN



SRL explains sepsis.

Sometimes referred to as blood poisoning, Sepsis occurs when a patient's immune system over reacts to a bloodstream infection, triggering a chain reaction that can cause inflammation, blood clotting, organ damage, and death. It can arise from a variety of infections, including appendicitis, urinary tract infections, skin or lung infections, as well as contaminated IV lines, surgical sites, and catheters. In severe cases, sepsis can weaken the heart, shut down other organs, and may lead to death. Early recognition of patients with possible sepsis is critical for preventing severe outcomes. Those at higher risk for sepsis include people with weakened immune systems, infants and children, elderly people, people with chronic illnesses and those who suffer severe burns or physical trauma. Patients who develop and survive sepsis have an increased risk of complications and death later, and they face higher healthcare costs and longer treatment.



E-medicine signs and symptoms of sepsis.

Sepsis Symptoms and Signs If a person has sepsis, they often will have fever. Sometimes, though, the body temperature may be normal or even low. The individual may also have chills and severe shaking. The heart may be beating very fast, and breathing may be rapid. Low blood pressure is often observed in septic patients. Confusion, disorientation, and agitation may be seen as well as dizziness and decreased urination. Some patients who have sepsis develop a rash on their skin. The rash may be a reddish discoloration or small dark red dots seen throughout the body. Those with sepsis may also develop pain in the joints of the wrists, elbows, back, hips, knees, and ankles.



Pneumococcal vaccination during pregnancy may reduce sepsis.

A review in the Cochrane Library located six randomized controlled trials of 919 participants evaluating the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination during pregnancy in reducing neonatal infection risk. Primary outcomes included neonatal pneumococcal infection (pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia/sepsis, neonatal death due to pneumococcal infection), otitis media, and neonatal pneumococcal colonization at two to three months of age and by six to seven months of age. MPR 2015

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