Dr C’s check-up ‘YOU MUST ACT FAST IF YOU SUS­PECT SEP­SIS’ BE CARE­FUL WITH EN­ERGY DRINKS!

DR CHRIS­TIAN GIVES HIS TAKE ON THE HOT HEALTH TOP­ICS OF THE WEEK Blood poi­son­ing is one of the UK’S big­gest killers, tak­ing 52,000 lives a year. Dr C wants us to know what to look out for I The caf­feine-rich bev­er­ages can trig­ger an ab­nor­mal heart rhythm,

Closer (UK) - - Health -

t was re­cently re­ported how mum Lau­ren But­ter­worth ini­tially dis­missed her son’s tired­ness and tem­per­a­ture as a bug. But af­ter press­ing on her baby’s skin and notic­ing a rash, which didn’t go af­ter eight sec­onds, she called 999. Al­fie had sep­sis and only hours to live.

TRUST YOUR IN­STINCTS

Thank­fully, he re­cov­ered, but it shows the in­stinct we have when it comes to our health shouldn’t be ig­nored. Around 25,000 chil­dren de­velop the con­di­tion, along with 225,0000 adults, and it’s vi­tal we know what to look for. Sep­sis hap­pens af­ter an in­fec­tion; your body des­per­ately tries to fight tox­ins pro­duced by a bac­te­ria, but it’s an ex­ces­sive reaction. It can af­fect the whole body, and it acts fast.

DON’T DE­LAY

There isn’t one spe­cific sign of sep­sis, it’s a col­lec­tion of symp­toms that can make both adults and chil­dren se­ri­ously ill. A very high tem­per­a­ture (39°C, or 38°C in ba­bies un­der three months) is the most com­mon sign, usu­ally a rash, a fast pulse rate and in­creased breath­ing rate. Sep­sis takes 52,000 lives each year, prob­a­bly be­cause it kills so fast. A pa­tient’s health can de­cline rapidly, so they should get seen as soon as they feel some­thing is wrong. In ba­bies, look for mot­tled skin, a rash that doesn’t go, fits, and grunt­ing while they breathe. In adults, also watch for slurred speech, faint­ness, dis­ori­en­ta­tion, vom­it­ing, and se­vere mus­cle pain.

KEEP A CLOSE EYE

Those at the high­est risk in­clude the very young and the very old. If you give a baby Calpol, their tem­per­a­ture may drop briefly, but it will shoot up again and they will still have other symp­toms. I wouldn’t rec­om­mend giv­ing medicine for that very rea­son – it could mask sep­sis. Be­hav­iour is im­por­tant; the child may be floppy, whin­ing, not in­ter­ested in feed­ing, or list­less. A par­ent should take those symp­toms se­ri­ously and get straight to hos­pi­tal, don’t bother with your GP. De­tected early in adults too, sep­sis can be treated with a mas­sive dose of an­tibi­otics, bloods and flu­ids, and you can make a full re­cov­ery. If they aren’t treated quickly, though, it be­comes very dan­ger­ous and could mean los­ing a limb, or even death. Trust your in­stincts, don’t de­lay and never feel guilty. If you’re in any way con­cerned, get to hos­pi­tal, no doc­tor will shout at you for wast­ing their time. Sep­sis doesn’t have to kill, but it can, so don’t de­lay – act quickly.

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