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Thursday, 21 September 2017


Sepsis is back in the news and spotting the signs early especially in the under 5’s is a difficult task

In the elderly, this hidden killer is equally as difficult to recognise http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/how-to-spot-sepsis-symptoms-12721014

Sepsis is a hidden killer, and is responsible for more deaths in the UK than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. So why is so little known about it?
Surprisingly despite this information a recent survey found that 44% of people in the UK have never heard of sepsis and have little idea that it is a life-threatening emergency. And in an astonishing twist 47% of Care Staff did not know that in a dementia patient the risks are higher, dementia increases the risks of acute organ dysfunction, severe sepsis and mortality in hospitalised older patients.

This article is aimed at trying to increase awareness about Sepsis, what it is, the symptoms and what to do in an emergency. I’m not medically trained by any means but in 2013, I had Sepsis so I do understand a bit about it.

Depending on the infection, sepsis can affect any organ, resulting in a diverse variety of symptoms. If the brain is affected, this may cause confusion; if the lungs are affected, this may result in breathing difficulties. Very young children and the elderly are particularly at risk, along with individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

The body’s immune response can be simply overwhelmed by the infection, or there’s a dysfunctional response producing too much inflammation. The body may already be immunosuppressed due to a trauma or fighting an initial infection, so the immune response is too weak.

When diagnosed early Sepsis is typically treated through the rapid administration of antibiotics.  Dr Ron Daniels, founder of the UK Sepsis Trust said recently
Often patients are discharged from hospital completely unaware that they’ve had sepsis. They could be admitted with a chest infection and end up in intensive care with multi-organ failure, but they think they’ve just had pneumonia, not realising that’s sepsis.

What are the causes of Sepsis?

Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock, which is a medical emergency.

What is Sepsis

Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections (UTIs), skin infections including cellulitis and infections in the stomach, appendicitis, infected Gall Bladder for example.
Typically, when a person suffers a minor cut, the area surrounds the wound will become red, swollen and warm to touch.

This is evidence the body’s immune system has kicked into action, releasing white blood cells to the site of the injury to kill off the bacteria causing the infection.

The white blood cells and platelets form blood clots in the tissues around the cut.

How can you avoid getting sepsis?

Here's how:
1.    Treat urinary tract infections promptly. A quarter of sepsis cases resulted from urinary tract infections. ...
2.    Clean skin wounds properly. ...
3.    Avoid infections in hospitals.

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but in Care Homes a study found 1 in 20 residents developed a UTI in average month, but many facilities lack preventive measures.  Which leads to the question “How many Elderly Deaths were because of Sepsis due to UTI’s not being treated appropriately?”

What are the three stages if sepsis?

Sepsis affects the body in three distinct stages.

Stage One
An infection invades a specific part of the body – pneumonia affects the lungs, for example – triggering the immune system into action.

The germs and toxins produced by the bacteria or virus leave the original site of infection and enter the bloodstream.

This causes the inflammatory response known as SIRS (systemic inflammatory response syndrome).

Stage Two
Individual organs throughout the body become affected, and begin to deteriorate.

In severe cases, this can lead to organ failure.

Stage Three
More than one organ stops functioning, and the patient experiences cardio-circulatory failure that leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure.
This is known more commonly as septic shock.

What are the signs of sepsis you should never ignore?

If you, a loved one, or in the case of medical professionals their patient, feels “severely sick”, doesn’t appear to be themselves and shows any of the following symptoms, sepsis should be suspected:
·         weakness
·         loss of appetite
·         fever and chills
·         thirst
·         difficult or rapid breathing
·         rapid heart rate
·         low blood pressure
·         low urine output

If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection – pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound – sepsis is a likely cause.

What treatment is available and can you prevent sepsis?

If you suspect you, or a loved one is suffering sepsis it must be treated as a medical emergency.

Think of the reaction you would have to a heart attack, stroke or major car crash – dial 999.

A person’s chances of surviving sepsis are highly dependent on their getting medical intensive care as soon as possible.

The longer it takes to receive medical care the more likely it is a patient will die.
Given it is a condition triggered by an infection, preventing that initial infection can prevent sepsis.

If you are a Parent or Guardian of an Under 5

Parents have been told to visit A&E immediately or call 999 if their child looks mottled, bluish or pale, is very lethargic or difficult to wake, feels abnormally cold to touch, is breathing very fast, has a rash that does not fade when you press it or has a fit or convulsion.

In the Elderly diagnosis of infection is challenging and likely to be missed if not anticipated. The presentation of sepsis in the elderly may be more severe and different from that in younger patients.  Nonspecific signs of sepsis like
·         altered mental status,
·         delirium,
·         weakness,
·         anorexia,
·         malaise,
·         falls,
·         and urinary incontinence
are common in the elderly. 

More common symptoms of sepsis include
·         fever,
·         hypothermia,
·         low blood pressure,
·         and elevated heart rate

The best advice is if unsure or concerned call 999

40 B4 40

Mummy recently had a birthday which now means the big 4 0 is only two years away!

She tells us that “We’re have been conditioned to be afraid of turning 40 because of Sally!” Remember Sally and her meltdown in When Harry Met Sally? (here’s a quick recap if like us you’re too young or like Mummy and have forgotten)
Sally: [Crying hysterically] And I’m going to be 40!
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday!
Harry: In eight years!
Sally: But it’s there! It’s like a big dead end!

As far as we’ve seen in our short lives Mummy has done nothing to embrace her actual age, but is adamant “I’m not dreading turning 40”. (Not at all).

Mummy is running towards it at top speed.  But it has got her to think about what she would like to achieve before she reaches this mythical goal.

Who doesn’t love an inspiring checklist of things to do or try?

And we have to write a 40 b4 40 list because Mummy will forget it otherwise…

She’s settling for doing the achievable and create some memories that we can share as a family and with friends
1.    Buy a Hermès Scarf – this really is mummies true selfish wish as its for mummy and solely mummy to enjoy
2.    Drive a Lorry
3.    Visit Las Vegas
4.    Visit Florida
5.    Return to Romeü
6.    See a West End Show
7.    Go to the o2 for a gig or comedy night
8.    New York for New Year – come on Daddy you’ll have to get your skates on if we’re going to achieve this one
9.    Watch a film at Somerset House or Proms in the Park
10. Drink a bottle of Cristal or something else equally as expensive ( I will just settle for a glass)
11. To hold or attend a masquerade ball
12. Beginning to think we should’ve aimed for 15 things to do before I’m 40 not 40 things to do… Try a hot stone massage
13. To appear in a magazine or newspaper (not Take a Break or The Sun) because I’ve achieved something good/made a difference/or been the change
14. I would genuinely like to cook every recipe from my favourite recipe book but that’s a little Julie & Julia
15. Attend a drive-in movie – now I know Peterborough does this in the Summer months so maybe I’ll actually do it
16. Attend my Old School Summer Ball – I’ve prevent myself from doing this before now as sometimes I’m not sure my old school would welcome me back!
17. Attend an Opening at a local Art Museum or Film Premier
18. Meet Princes Harry and William – I love our royal family and to attend a Tea in the Garden would be an honour
19. Re-new my vows with my children present
20. Halfway there - Learn how to fly a plane or a chinook
21. Go to the Greek island of Santorini
22. Stay in a luxury tree house
23. Ride a Segway
24. See the Northern Lights
25. Take my children to see Santa in Lapland
26. Get a family dog/puppy
27. Eat in a Michelin star restaurant
28. Find the best bacon butty or Egg Banjo on the A1 (the A1 is a motorway/road that runs nearly the full length of the UK London to Edinburgh)
29. Attend Edinburgh Fringe and Festival
30. Wish mummy was 30 instead seeing as we're here already! Have an Eddie Stobart names in her honour (Eddie Stobart are a haulage firm in the UK)
31. Publish a book – Mummies almost there as she started writing a Children’s Book called Forget Me Not educating children on dementia and similar diseases
32. Start a book/Wino’s club in my Village
33. Be debt free
34. Start a retirement fund or policy insurance
35. Take her girly friends on a girl’s holiday somewhere hot, where we can natter, laugh and drink without the thunderous noise of our children!
36. Drive a 1954-'60 Volkswagen Convertible Beetle around the full coastal line of the UK
37. Travel on the famous West Highland Railway
38. Figure out why my décor never looks as good in reality as it does in a) my head b) in pictures from Pinterest!
39. Write a letter to my possible future grandchildren
40. FINALLY – Give up smoking