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Sepsis: The importance of knowing the signs and symptoms

02 March 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 1


Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and can be particularly difficult to identify in young children, Dorothy Lepkowska explains

Gillian Dawson's son, Elliott, was eight years old and recovering from chickenpox. After the spots had cleared, he returned to school and his parents expected him to get back to good health quickly. They thought nothing more of it.

But within a few days his condition took a huge turn for the worse. Elliott became lethargic, achy and had a high temperature which stubbornly refused to go away, despite medication.

‘I just knew there was something very seriously wrong with him,’ Gillian said. ‘As a Mum you just know when things aren't at all right. Instead of recovering from chickenpox, he just became more and more tired and lethargic. He didn't want to eat or do anything.’

Gillian instincts were proved to be right. After calling 111 she rushed her child to the hospital where a doctor quickly diagnosed what he believed to be sepsis. ‘I totally panicked at hearing this word, especially when it was explained to us how serious this disease is,’ she said.

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