Symptoms of Sepsis

Article by Piers Meyler: The tragic death of a loving and popular young mum from Billericay, who was struck down with fatal blood poisoning after scratching her hand, is being used to highlight the hidden dangers of Sepsis.

Lucy Smith died on April 1 last year at the age of 44 – just days after a scratch on the back of her hand she got from gardening started to make her feel ill.

Lucy, who has two small children Megan, nine, and George, six, who both attend Quilters Primary School in Billericay was looking forward to marrying her fiance Darren O'Neill.

The couple had just bought a new home when the family law solicitor was struck down with the fatal condition that kills a staggering 44,000 deaths each year - more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

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Now her family of Lucy, who attended Ingrave Johnson Primary School in Brentwood before going on to St Martins in Hutton, want to highlight the dangers of the life-threatening condition - also referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia, which is triggered by an infection or injury.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Carolin (Sister)"]Don't underestimate this prolific killer. Every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of Sepsis, resulting in a staggering 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined[/quote]

She is now urging people to look out for the symptoms.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Carolin (Sister)"]People don't realise that there are many causes of Sepsis. For example, from an infection, usually associated with an illness, like diabetes or cancer, or an injury like, in Lucy's case, a cut or a scrape. It can, however, also be caused by an infection following a routine surgery or procedure.[/quote]

The death of Lucy shows how important the condition is treated early.

Lucy initially had a small cut on the back of her hand which the family think had been caused by gardening. It hadn't healed and she had knocked it a few times but thought nothing of it a week later.

Timeline

Friday March 27 2015
Lucy went to see her GP complaining of pain in her shoulder.

The medic she saw diagnosed a trapped nerve in her shoulder and prescribed antidepressants. She was told to see a chiropractor who she visited that afternoon. She was given acupuncture and sent home, even though at that point Lucy was vomiting and in a great deal of pain.

Monday March 30 2015
Lucy's fingers and arm had become very red and swollen, she was still vomiting and by this time in terrible pain. She returned to her GP who diagnosed a possible blood clot and told her to go to A&E.

A&E at Basildon Hospital gave her a simple blood test straight away and 30 minutes later she was diagnosed with Sepsis and placed on intravenous antibiotics.

At this point the family all assumed that she would recover.

Tuesday March 31
Lucy was moved off a general ward to a critical care ward and continued with an increased dose of antibiotics.

Wednesday April 1
Early in the afternoon Lucy was placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing.

Unbeknown to the family at this point her internal organs were beginning to shut down as her body attacked itself.

Late that night she suffered cardiovascular, renal and respiratory failure and sadly died. The coroner's report recorded that she died of toxic shock caused by sepsis.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Carolin (Sister)"]Had Lucy initially been given that simple blood test and received the treatment that she needed on Friday when she saw a GP I am convinced that the outcome would have been a positive one and that her children, Megan and George who are now six and nine years old would still have their wonderful, beautiful mummy. Sepsis can affect any one at any age, although the very young and old are at a higher risk, everybody in-between can also be struck down. Lucy was in excellent health and just approaching her 44th birthday - no one is immune. The symptoms of sepsis can be confused with the symptoms of other illnesses - If in doubt, don't hesitate to go to A&E and ask for a blood test. Caught in time Sepsis can be treated - please don't wait until its too late. Busy doctors miss things, you need to be aware of the symptoms and not be fobbed off.[/quote]

Read original article by Piers Meyler, Essex Live

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