SEPSIS is a potentially life-threatening condition however it can be easily treated if caught early. We wanted to highlight the issues of risk of sepsis after giving birth. WHY? Did you know that Sepsis is the biggest cause of death in UK pregnancies – so even though it is a little uncomfortable to talk about, people need to be aware how serious sepsis can be.
OUR TEAM STORY
Last August one of our staff team had a new little baby, was sent home with a temperature but then was speedily rushed back into hospital by her husband. He decided to take her back in to hospital despite being told by the hospital team to just give her paracetamol. Within 24 hours she was rushed down to high dependancy ICU after taking a huge downward turn. With a temperature of 42.5 and uncontrollable shivering and shaking it was a rather tense 3 days in ICU whilst the staff teams tried to decide what the problem was. It was Sepsis!
Not knowing the urgency of the illness, or the signs of sepsis – this event could have had a devastating outcome, thankfully it didn’t! After giving birth it is very easy to think the signs of sepsis are normal symptoms after giving birth, they really are not!
Our team member says:
I had no idea that the symptoms I was having were not normal after giving birth and feeling slightly under the weather. Within hours it went from bad to really bad. Uncontrollable shaking, a high temperature which actually made me feel cold – these were not good signs. More worryingly is the hospital trying to get me to stay home when if I did I would have certainly died. the hospital experience was not much better, being put in a side room on my own with a new premature baby, at one point the shaking was so bad I could not get off the bed, press the buzzer or clearly keep consciousness – it was only when a porter came into the room who raised the alarm that I was rushed down to intensive care. Probably one of the scariest experiences of my life. I don’t like to think out what happened let alone publish a news item about it, but really want to share this story as it should not have happened, it should not have been handled so badly – I do not want any women (or anyone!) to loose their life needlessly! Please be aware of the signs YOURSELF. waiting for a healthcare professional to diagnose you may be to late – get help straight away!.”
Symptoms of SEPSIS will present differently between adults and children, below is information to help you identify symptoms in both adults and children.
HOW DO I SPOT SEPSIS?
SEPSIS could occur as the result of any infection. There is no one sign for SEPSIS.
SEPSIS is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.
Seek medical help urgently if you develop any or one of the following:
Slurred speech or confusion
Extreme shivering or muscle pain
Passing no urine (in a day)
It feels like you’re going to die
Skin mottled or discoloured
SEPSIS IN CHILDREN
If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), just ask: could it be SEPSIS?
Any child who:
– Is breathing very fast
– Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
– Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
– Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
– Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
– Feels abnormally cold to touch
Might have SEPSIS. Call 999 and ask: could it be SEPSIS?
Any child under 5 who:
– Is not feeding
– Is vomiting repeatedly
– Hasn’t had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours
Might have SEPSIS. If you’re worried they’re deteriorating call 111 or see your GP.