Sepsis and beyond

By | December 7, 2018

When I published this picture a couple of weeks ago, I was in hospital, thinking I’d gone in with a hefty bout of Cellulitis, I didn’t realise amidst my drowsiness that it was sepsis.

The doctor who made a house call arrived within about 20 minutes after we called and he phoned an ambulance, which arrived within ten minutes, I was too drowsy to register the speed of response and it was only a few days later that Hubbie said the doctor and paramedics were saying it was sepsis.

Scary stuff, eh?

I’m very lucky. I went home after 3 days of intravenous medication, with hefty antibiotics, with the proviso that I had to seek assistance if my symptoms worsened.

Sepsis (do you know, I couldn’t bring myself to type that word for a while) is extremely serious and fast-spreading and I want to help raise awareness of it, in any way I can.

I couldn’t fault the treatment I received at the hospital, it was fast, with blood, xrays and intravenous drugs all being administered very quickly. I was moved from a&e, to acute monitoring to a bed in a ward and then finally to a side room, all within 12 hours, I remained in the side room with IV every two hours at first, diminishing to (I think) every four hours after the first day.

I am extremely grateful that I am a tad dis-organised because I had had an agreement with the GP a few years back that, if cellulitis occurs, I could treat it at home with anti-biotics. Those antibiotics were out of date, hence our phone call for a house call. If we hadn’t done that, I might not be typing this. I’m lucky.

Two weeks on and I’m not feeling 100%, I can feel a bit “scatty” and it’s like my brain wants to say a particular word, but my mouth can’t and I get tired quickly, I’m also tearful too, researching for this post made me cry, with relief.

As you can imagine, D was greatly affected by the sight of her mum heading off in an ambulance and the massive routine changes that brought. She’s had separation anxieties ever since and has found it difficult to deal with any planned changes and needs constant reassurance and cuddles.

Sepsis can occur in babies and children too, below are the signs to look out for (from the NHS website):

“Sepsis symptoms in children under five

Go straight to A&E or call 999 if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • 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 
  • has a fit or convulsion 

Get medical advice urgently from NHS 111

If your child has any of the symptoms listed below, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.


  • temperature over 38C in babies under 3 months 
  • temperature over 39C in babies aged three to 6 months 
  • any high temperature in a child who cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything 
  • low temperature (below 36C – check 3 times in a 10-minute period) 


  • finding it much harder to breathe than normal – looks like hard work 
  • making “grunting” noises with every breath 
  • can’t say more than a few words at once (for older children who normally talk) 
  • breathing that obviously “pauses” 


  • not had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours 

Eating and drinking

  • new baby under 1 month old with no interest in feeding 
  • not drinking for more than 8 hours (when awake) 
  • bile-stained (green), bloody or black vomit/sick 

Activity and body

  • soft spot on a baby’s head is bulging 
  • eyes look “sunken” 
  • child cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything 
  • baby is floppy 
  • weak, “whining” or continuous crying in a younger child 
  • older child who’s confused 
  • not responding or very irritable 
  • stiff neck, especially when trying to look up and down 

If your child has any of these symptoms, is getting worse or is sicker than you’d expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.”

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