I thought i would talk a little about Sepsis today, a condition which can be fatal if treatment is not sought quickly ( within the 1st hour). I was struck with sepsis back in 2011 after developing acute pyelonephritis ( kidney infection) and pneumonia. It takes the lives of 37,000 people a year yet lives can be saved if treatment is sought quickly.
I began to feel poorly around last of January 2011, being flu season I assumed that was what it was, I didn’t have the usual symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection, I had back pain but assumed I had pulled it and ignored it. I and my husband then went to watch Norwich City vs Millwall at Carrow Road, it was cold evening but I couldn’t enjoy it as my health seemed worse. I was shivery and my back by now was agony and cried all the way home. I called the GP the next day and spoke to the nurse, I was prescribed antibiotics over the phone for a UTI ( by now I had very smelly urine which was very cloudy)
After 24hrs I was getting worse and the antibiotics were not working, I called the GP and an urgent appointment was made, I took a urine sample with me and was positive for UTI with everything in it that shouldn’t be. I was prescribed painkillers for the severe back pain and new antibiotics, but by now I would soon find out later this was too late.
A few hours later my health deteriorated, I had a high fever of just below 40c, I felt so sick and everytime I stood up I thought I was going to pass out. I was shivering violently, so cold yet sweat was dripping off my head, and my heart was pounding so hard i thought it was going to burst through my chest wall. I was clammy and a little delirious. My husband called the NHS helpline and was told to give me fluids and painkillers to and to visit my GP the next day, however, Shaun’s mum was not happy with this and called the out of hours and an urgent appointment was made for me. By now it had been several hours before I had even been to the loo, something was very wrong and I felt awful. I thought I was dying, that is no exaggeration.
We arrived at the hospital, I was barely able to walk. We were ushered through, I had to try and do urine sample hard work when there is nothing there but managed a little bit. The doc took my blood pressure, it was very low, I was tachycardiac ( fast heart rate) had pyrexia ( fever). My urine contained blood, a large number of white blood cells and nitrites. I didn’t realise the seriousness of it until i was rushed straight through to a&e.
I was very scared, I was hooked up to monitors, blood was being taken and intravenous antibiotics were started immediately as well as drips to raise my blood pressure. Soon after I had a chest x-ray and an ultrasound scan of kidneys to ensure no scarring or collections of pus were there. Then I was told I had developed life-threatening sepsis, and we had caught it early. I asked when I could go home, the answer was not for a good few days to a week. I was in hospital shy of 10 days. The kidney infection itself is life threatening too, any longer I would have ended up in Intensive care. II the outcome would have been different if i had stayed home and just take painkillers and drunk fluids.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is an overwhelming inflammatory response in the body, your body starts to attack its own organs. You will also see it as blood poisoning or septicemia. If left untreated it causes organ failure and ultimately death. Its fully treatabel if caught early must be within the first hour, each minute it passes the prognosis gets poorer. Usually many people end up in Intensive care on life support.
Symptoms of sepsis are:
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
You can find out about Sepsis and Sepsis Trust here