Sepsis Symptoms in Children: Five Warning Signs Every Parent Should Know
Knowing the symptoms of sepsis can save your child’s life.
Each year, 2,000 children in the UK and 75,000 in the US develop the life-threatening reaction to infection.
If caught early, it is fully treatable with antibiotics. But without urgent care, organ failure can quickly occur. Some patients will die.
It happens when the immune system overreacts to an infection and begins attacking the body’s tissues and organs.
Actor Jason Watkins and his wife Clara Francis are now talking about the “silent killer” who took the life of his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Maude in 2011.
In an ITV1 documentary, Jason & Clara: Maudie’s Memory, the couple reveal her death from sepsis could have been avoided.
Here, MailOnline highlights the warning signs of sepsis in children to help identify the disease early.
Sepsis is life-threatening, but if caught early, it’s treatable. Children with sepsis may have trouble breathing, seizures, lethargy, a rash that won’t fade when you put a glass on it, and babies may have difficulty breastfeeding
Sepsis can cause the appearance of the skin to change.
This can cause the skin to look mottled – if a web-like rash appears – bluish, pale or develop a rash that doesn’t fade, according to The UK Sepsis Trust.
A child’s skin may also feel unusually cold.
This is due to toxins produced by the bacteria that cause the infection, which damage the small blood vessels and cause fluid to leak into surrounding tissues, according to the NHS.
This negatively affects the heart’s ability to pump blood, which lowers blood pressure and the body’s surface temperature.
Jason Watkins and Clara Francis have worked on Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie, in which the couple will help other families struggling with grief following the death of their two-year-old daughter in 2011
Ahead of the documentary’s release, the couple spoke with Giovanna Fletcher on her podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby about the devastating loss of their child Maude, pictured above
If a child is breathing very quickly, the NHS will tell them to call 999.
It could be a sign of sepsis as the infection can cause a drop in blood pressure.
As a result, vital organs such as the brain and liver are not supplied with sufficient blood and oxygen.
This can lead to rapid breathing.
For children under the age of five who can speak, you may find that they have trouble saying more than a few words before they get out of breath.
Children can also make grunting noises and suck in their tummy with each breath.
A child may have a seizure or convulsion if they have sepsis.
This reaction can be caused by the brain not getting the vital blood it needs.
A febrile seizure is caused by fever and causes a child’s body to become stiff and their legs and arms to twitch.
During the seizure, a child loses consciousness and may wet, vomit, or foam at the mouth.
It usually lasts less than five minutes.
Although it’s not always a sign of something serious, the NHS advises going to the nearest hospital as a precaution.
Difficult to wake up
Children with sepsis can become very lethargic or difficult to wake up, the UK Sepsis Trust warns.
Just like a cold or flu, sepsis can also make people feel tired and lethargic.
However, if a child is becoming increasingly difficult to wake up, it could be a sign of sepsis.
This is because the brain and other vital organs are not getting the blood and oxygen they need due to the body’s extreme response to infection.
If the body continues to be deprived of blood and oxygen, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death.
I stopped feeding
Babies and children under the age of five can show different signs of sepsis.
In addition to a rash or rapid breathing, children under the age of five may also have trouble eating and drinking.
When a baby isn’t feeding, it can be a sign they’re suffering from pain, discomfort or an illness that could be sepsis, the UK Sepsis Trust warns.
Other signs to look out for are repeated vomiting and not urinating for 12 hours or more.
What are the main symptoms of sepsis? The “silent killer” that can cause death in minutes
Known as the “silent killer,” sepsis strikes when an infection, such as blood poisoning, triggers a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs.
It is a potentially life-threatening condition triggered by infection or injury. According to the UK Sepsis Trust, around 245,000 people develop sepsis and 52,000 die from it in the UK each year.
Instead of attacking the invading bug, the body turns itself on, shutting down vital organs.
If caught early enough, it can be easily treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids, but these must be given as soon as sepsis is suspected — it strikes with frightening speed, and for every hour delayed, a patient’s chance of dying increases by 8 percent.
Sepsis is a leading cause of preventable death, killing 44,000 people each year
The early symptoms of sepsis can easily be mistaken for milder conditions, meaning it can be difficult to diagnose.
A high temperature (fever), chills and tremors, rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing are also signs.
A patient can quickly deteriorate if sepsis is overlooked early, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is critical – but this rarely happens.
In the early stages, sepsis can be mistaken for a chest infection, the flu, or an upset stomach.
It is most common and dangerous in older adults, pregnant women, children under the age of one, people with chronic medical conditions, or people with compromised immune systems.
The six signs of something potentially deadly can be identified by the acronym “SEPSIS”:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme tremors or muscle pain
- No urine in a day
- Severe shortness of breath
- Mottled or discolored skin
Anyone who develops any of these symptoms should seek urgent medical help — and doctors should ask, “Could this be sepsis?”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11919225/Sepsis-symptoms-children-Five-warning-signs-parents-know.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Sepsis Symptoms in Children: Five Warning Signs Every Parent Should Know