Posts Tagged ‘ sepsis ’

How to Save a Life

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Today is the first World Sepsis Day, to bring attention to the condition that affects at least 750,000 people each year. It’s the body’s way of responding to an infection or injury (even a minor one), and can quickly turn fatal. Those who are hospitalized are especially vulnerable.

If you read in the New York Times the horribly sad story of 12-year-old Rory Staunton, a boy from Queens, New York, who died in April of septic shock after a cut he got from gym class became infected, then you know how out of control sepsis can become. There’s a question as to whether his doctors recognized the signs of sepsis, which underscores how vital it is that we as parents understand the condition. At this point, early detection is everything—once it’s identified, antibiotics and IV fluids can bring the problem under control.

Classic signs include:
* Fever
* Chills, even hypothermia
* A heart rate faster than 90 beats per minute
* Swelling
* General confusion
* Low blood pressure
The problem, of course, is that sepsis can look like so many other illnesses. But this is why we have to be vigilant when something seems off about our child. Newborns can also be vulnerable, particularly when their mother had complications during pregnancy. Complications that up the risk:
* Premature rupture of the membranes (amniotic sac), or membrane rupture for a long period of time
* Bleeding problems
* Difficult delivery
* Infection in the uterus or placental tissues
* Fever in the mother

A baby at risk for sepsis may have:
* Difficulty breathing, or stop breathing altogether
* A decreased heart rate
* A low temperature
* A weak suck
* Jaundice

The Sepsis Alliance has collected stories of many people who’ve been affected by sepsis. It’s worth your time to read them, because the advice from their doctors and the warning signs from the families themselves will leave you feeling ever so slightly powerless. The words of a mom named Lainie Duke, whose 3-year-old survived a bout of sepsis, stay with me: “My daughter was fine on Friday night, in septic shock on Saturday morning. She didn’t have surgery, wasn’t recently ill, wasn’t scratched or bitten by an animal—I had no reason to think something like this could happen. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, and don’t let a doctor/hospital dismiss your concerns or rush you out of there. I will continue to be an advocate for my children’s treatment when I feel that something isn’t right. I still don’t know what caused her sepsis, and I will never know. But I will thank God every day for saving my little girl.”

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Just Wait Until Your Mother Gets Home: Dads Are Taking Over as Full-Time Parents
In the last decade, the number of men who have left the work force entirely to raise children has more than doubled, according to recent United States census data. (via New York Times)

Surviving Sepsis: New Device Speeds ID of Dangerous Bacteria
A new test could mean early detection of this rapid-spreading bloodstream infection. (via NBC)

Danica McKeller’s 5 Tips to Conquer Math Phobia, For Your Kids’ Sake
Practice these strategies to help kids to grow up to love math, not fear it. (via MSNBC)

Study: Junk Food Laws May Help Curb Kids’ Obesity
Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off. (via Associated Press)

Study: Can Daily Aspirin Help Ward Off Cancer?
Taking aspirin daily may help protect against cancer but the effect seems weaker than previously thought, according to a U.S. study that included a decade’s worth of data from more than 100,000 people. (via Reuters)

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