© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS SOURCED FROM UK and AMERICAN WEBSITES* It is also based on our own experience. *We are not experts in this field, we are speaking purely on our own experience with information sought from the internet to give further examples.*
Please see Sepsis which covers:
- Our story
- Internet examples of Sepsis (Illustrative)
- What is Sepsis and how do you get it?
- YouTube Videos: Sepsis
- What causes Sepsis
- Stages of Sepsis
- Sepsis diagnosis and treatment
- Effects of Sepsis on the body
- Sepsis and Bedsores
- Contracting Sepsis in Hospital
- Sepsis vs infection
- Outcomes of Sepsis
- Additional links: Sepsis
- Additional links: Urosepsis
- Our Final Thoughts
1. Our Story
We as a family were so shocked to learn that our Dad had contracted this life-threatening infection. What made it even more shocking/saddening is that we were not made aware of it at that time that our Dad was in the hospital. This means we are again looking back and seeing signs that wouldn’t have made sense to us at that time (changes in our Dad’s condition/behaviour) but now as we know this, it making more sense. Dots are connecting up.
2. Internet examples of Sepsis (Illustrative)
3. What is Sepsis and how do you get it?
“Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection. Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead”.
“Sepsis is causally defined as a systemic infection by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and/or parasites mainly in blood and is clinically manifested as systemic inflammatory response syndrome in the presence of infection, including low blood pressure; cognitive impairment; metabolic acidosis; elevated heart rate; respiratory”.
- “Fever and chills”.
- “Very low body temperature”.
- “Peeing less than normal”.
- “Rapid pulse”.
- “Rapid breathing”.
- “Nausea and vomiting”.
- “Diarrhea”. (12 Jan 2017).
Sepsis symptoms in older children and adults
- “A high temperature (fever) or low body temperature”.
- “chills and shivering”.
- “A fast heartbeat”.
- “Fast breathing”.
“Invasive medical procedures such as inserting a tube into a vein can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream and bring on the condition. But sepsis can also come from an infection confined to one part of the body, such as the lungs, urinary tract, skin, or abdomen (including the appendix). Anyone can get sepsis”.
“It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs. Sepsis is sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning”.
“Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs”.
“Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems”. (16 Nov 2018).
“Sepsis in Elderly Patients. When infection and inflammation spread through the body, often through the bloodstream, sepsis can occur. It is a result of severe infection entering the bloodstream, which leads to a chemical release in the body in an attempt to fight the infection”.
4. YouTube Videos: Sepsis
5. What Causes Sepsis?
“Other bacteria also causing sepsis are S. aureus, Streptococcus species, Enterococcus species and Neisseria; however, there are large numbers of bacterial genera that have been known to cause sepsis. Candida species are some of the most frequent fungi that cause sepsis”.
6. Stages of Sepsis
“There are three stages of sepsis: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock”.
“Symptoms of sepsis include the presence of an infection, as well of as at least two of the following symptoms: an elevated or lowered body temperature, a fast heart rate, a fast breathing rate and low blood pressure. If caught early, sepsis is treatable with fluids and antibiotics”. (5 Oct 2015).
“It is more likely to occur in males. Early onset sepsis appears before the age of 3 days and late onset sepsis is when symptoms appear after 3 days of life. The cause of sepsis in newborns can be viral, bacterial, or fungal”. (23 Oct 2018).
“Early onset sepsis appears before the age of 3 days and late onset sepsis is when symptoms appear after 3 days of life. The cause of sepsis in newborns can be viral, bacterial, or fungal”.
7. Sepsis cause, diagnosis and treatment
“People with sepsis often develop a hemorrhagic rash. This may be a reddish discolouration, or a cluster of tiny blood spots that look like pinpricks in the skin. If untreated, these dark dots gradually get bigger and begin to look like fresh bruises. They then join together to form larger areas of purple discoloration”. (7 Sep 2018).
“At that point, the entire body becomes inflamed. That is why sepsis can lead to organ failure and can often be fatal. While sepsis can occur in anyone at any age, the elderly are especially susceptible because their bodies may already be weak and cannot fight off infection as well”.
“Sepsis symptoms in older children and adults
Early symptoms of sepsis may include: a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature. chills and shivering. a fast heartbeat”.
“Can I get sepsis again? Sepsis can affect anyone at any time, but some people are at higher risk than others. … Of course, when there is an infection, there is a risk of sepsis. Among people over 65 years old, their risk of becoming ill again is also higher, for a variety of reasons”.
“Because sepsis stems from infection, protecting yourself starts with preventing the spread of infections”.
- “Stay Up-to-Date With Vaccinations”.
- “Seek Treatment for Possible Infections”.
- “Take Antibiotics as Directed”.
- “Wash Your Hands and Practice Good Hygiene”.
- “Take Proper Care of Wounds”. (8 May 2018).
“How is sepsis diagnosed? If your doctor believes you might have sepsis, he’ll do an exam and run tests to look for the following: Bacteria in the blood or other body fluids. The source of the infection (he may use an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound)”.
“Symptoms. If you have sepsis, you already have a serious infection. Early symptoms include fever and feeling unwell, faint, weak, or confused. You may notice your heart rate and breathing are faster than usual”.
“Dormant viruses re-emerge in patients with lingering sepsis, signaling immune suppression. A provocative study links prolonged episodes of sepsis — a life-threatening infection and leading cause of death in hospitals — to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body”. (11 Jun 2014).
8. Effects of Sepsis on the body
“The low blood pressure and inflammation patients experience during sepsis may lead to brain damage that causes cognitive problems. Sepsis patients also frequently become delirious, a state known to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease”. (26 Oct 2010).
“The low blood pressure and inflammation patients experience during sepsis may lead to brain damage that causes cognitive problems. Sepsis patients also frequently become delirious, a state known to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” (26 Oct 2010).
In our case, as our Dad had various infections, it would make him confused. Most of the time, we (the family) would associate this with when he got delirium. However, looking back there was a time when he was in a state of confusion and I stated to the doctors this is different, I am not sure what this is as I Have not seen or experienced this kind of confusion with him, it is different to when he is in delirium.
“It is known that serious lack of sleep can cause psychological distress. If you experienced hallucinations while hospitalized for sepsis or septic shock, you are not alone”.
“Post-Sepsis Syndrome: Sepsis Survivor Reveals Infection Caused Memory Loss And Altered Personality. Following his near-death experience, the 57-year-old had to deal with extreme fatigue, memory loss and an altered personality – long-term effects of sepsis which are not often publicly addressed”. (13 Sep 2017).
“What are the long–term effects of sepsis? As with other illnesses requiring intensive medical care, some patients have long–term effects. These problems might not become apparent for several weeks after treatment is completed and might include such consequences as: Insomnia, difficulty getting to or staying asleep”.
9. Sepsis and Bedsores
“Is Sepsis Related to Bed Sores? If your loved one has a bed sore and is later diagnosed with sepsis then there is a strong likelihood that the sepsis is due to the bed sore or open wound. Sepsis is an illness caused by infection in the bloodstream by bacteria. … If left undiagnosed and untreated, sepsis can be fatal”.
Unfortunately for our Dad, he developed a pressure sore (bed sore) during his time in the hospital. Although we were aware he developed this, we were never aware of how bad it was. ( we believe this developed due to him laying on a faulty bed when he was discharged to home).
“When an infection occurs, bacteria can move out of the tooth to the bone or tissue below, forming a dental abscess. A dental infection can lead to sepsis. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection. … Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die”.
10. Contracting Sepsis in Hospital
“Sepsis can be triggered by an infection in any part of the body. The most common sites of infection leading to sepsis are the lungs, urinary tract, tummy (abdomen) and pelvis. Sepsis may develop when you’re already in hospital”.
“A healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) is an infection that is contracted while you are in a healthcare facility, such as an acute care hospital or a skilled nursing care facility. Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections”.
“How long you stay in the hospital depends on many factors. The average amount of time to stay in the hospital with sepsis is 6 to 9 days”.
11. Sepsis vs infection
“Septicemia is a bacterial infection that spreads into the bloodstream. Sepsis is the body’s response to that infection, during which the immune system will trigger extreme and potentially dangerous, whole-body inflammation”. (7 Dec 2018).
“At one time, sepsis was thought to arise from an overgrowth of bacteria or other germs in the bloodstream. We now know that sepsis actually springs from 2 factors: first an infection (such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection) and then a powerful and harmful response by your body’s own immune system”.
During our Dad’s time in the hospital, he suffered from both urinary tract infection(s) and as we later found out after he passed away he contracted two forms of pneumonia whilst in the hospital.
12. Outcomes of Sepsis
“A diagnosis of septic shock was once a near death sentence. At best, survivors suffered a substantially reduced quality of life. Septic shock, the most severe form of sepsis, is the body’s response to a severe bacterial bloodstream infection that is often systemic. It can lead to multi-system organ failure and death”. (5 Nov 2014).
“When sepsis strikes, it can be fatal, with estimates suggesting it contributes to one-third to one-half of all in-hospital deaths. … People with chronic medical conditions, such as neurological disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and kidney disease, are at particular risk for developing sepsis. And it is fatal”. (7 Jun 2016).
“Sepsis is already one of the UK’s biggest silent killers, taking 44,000 lives every year, according to the UK Sepsis Trust. There are thought to be around 260,000 cases of sepsis a year in England alone”. (22 May 2019).
“Sepsis is a potentially fatal condition that develops from the body’s overactive response to an infection. According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, over 1 million people in the United States develop severe sepsis each year, and 15–30 percent of these people die as a result”. (12 Mar 2019).
“Warning as sepsis can kill in 12 hours. Sepsis is a bigger killer than heart attacks, lung cancer or breast cancer. The blood infection is a fast killer too. A person can be a very healthy fit individual one day and be dead the next morning”. (25 Jan 2018).
“Sepsis is a leading cause of death in the UK. In 2014 it was estimated that there were 123,000 cases of sepsis in England resulting in nearly 37,000 deaths. It is estimated that by the application of best practice to all these cases as many as 10,000 deaths may be avoided each year”. (19 Jun 2018).
“Leading causes of death in 2016. The Health Profile for England 2017 report identified heart disease and dementia and Alzheimer’s as the most common underlying causes of death in males and females respectively and this remained the case in 2016 (Table 1)”. (11 Sep 2018).
“Heart disease remains the UK’s biggest killer, even though deaths have almost halved in a decade, data shows. A new study from Imperial College London found the death rate from heart disease fell dramatically between 2005 and 2015, from 80 deaths per 100,000 people to 46 per 100,000”. (5 Jun 2019).
Our Dad was hospitalised in September 2016. He was diagnosed with a serious life-threatening Heart Infection called: Infective Endocarditis (also a topic in this blog). Unfortunately for our Dad, this Heart Infection led to many other illnesses and conditions during his time in the hospital. Despite having the strength and endurance to fight the many illnesses he faced (Sepsis being one of them), he sadly passed away in March 2017.
“Urosepsis is a term used to describe a type of sepsis that is caused by an infection in the urinary tract. It is a complication often caused by urinary tract infections that are not treated quickly or properly”. (23 Dec 2017).
“Fever. pain on the lower sides of your back, where your kidneys are located. nausea and vomiting. extreme tiredness. decreased urine output”. (1 Jun 2017).
“People shouldn’t die from a UTI, but if sepsis begins to take over and develops to severe sepsis and then to septic shock, this is exactly what can happen. More than half the cases of urosepsis among older adults are caused by a UTI. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die”.
“Urosepsis is sepsis that derives from a urogenital tract infection and is a common problem that has been documented for a long time . The globally accepted mortality rate of severe sepsis is 20%–42%. About 50% of severe sepsis originates from pneumonia, with 24% from intraperitoneal infection and 5%–7% from UTI [5”]. (13 Jan 2016).
“On an average, the recovery period from this condition takes from about three to ten days depending on the response to the appropriate treatment including medication”.
14. Additional Links Sepsis:
- Sepsis Conditions – NHS UK
- Sepsis Trust Org
- Sepsis – Wikipedia
- About Sepsis – NHS Inform
- Sepsis -Healthline.com
- Sepsis: What you need to know – Medical News Today
- What is Sepsis – Kids Health
- Sepsis: Who can get it? NHS UK
- Sepsis – NHS UK
- Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management – Nice Org UK
- Sepsis: The truth about this hidden killer – The Guardian (UK Edition)
- Testing for sepsis – Sepsis Org
15. Additional links Urosepsis:
- What should you know about Urosepsis?
- Urosepsis: A simple infection turns toxic
- Urosepsis-LIFTL-CCC-Infectious Diseases
- Approach to a patient with Urosepsis – NCBI
16. Our Final Thoughts
Our final thoughts on this would be. Always speak up if something doesn’t seem right. You might not realise just how much of a difference doing that can make to the person that is in the hospital. As a family we always raised any concerns and were persistent even if the nursing staff seemed reluctant at times to help us.
We can say without a doubt had we not done this, our Dad wouldn’t have survived as long as he did. We were witness to almost instant turn arounds in his health due to our interventions.
An example being , noticing a change in his breathing, or noticing he was not as coherent as usual. Raising these concerns alerted staff that things were not right and with the correct treatment our Dad would bounce back very quickly.
It shouldn’t have had to be this way but we had no other choice. From this we would say no matter if you might be made to feel as though:
- You are a nuisance
- Facing resistance
Always stand your ground as it is the best thing you could do for the patient.