A Sepsis infection is a medical condition that can lead to organ failure. Actress Patty Duke, recently passed away at the age of 69 from this condition. Sepsis kills more than 258,000 Americans a year.


Most people can recover from sepsis, when it’s caught in time, but many survivors are left with permanent organ damage or missing limbs due to amputation.


The signs of sepsis can be broken down in a simple acronym, notes the CDC.


S – Shivering, fever, or feeling very cold

E – Extreme pain or general discomfort, as in “worst ever”

P – Pale or discolored skin

S – Sleepy, difficult to wake up or confused

I – “I feel like I might die”

S – Shortness of breath


People assume that sepsis and other infections are acquired during hospitalizations. Hospitalization is not a mandatory requirement to contract sepsis. Many patients who have sepsis acquire it while being hospitalized. However, in the emergency room 2/3 of cases are first documented there. This means that the patient obtain the infection outside of the hospital.


“In one highly publicized, tragic story, a 12-year-old boy named Rory Staunton scraped his arm while playing with friends in 2012 and eventually began vomiting and complaining of pain in his leg. Doctors sent him home with Tylenol, but three days later he died from severe septic shock.”


The problem with sepsis is not only is it deadly if left untreated, but it is easy to confuse sepsis with some other infection. If sepsis is not specifically diagnosed and treated, the patient could be misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly.


If you recently had surgery or have an infection that isn’t responding to antibiotics and isn’t clearing up on its own, don’t be afraid to go to the hospital or doctor and use the term “sepsis.” If doctors are specifically looking for it, it’s easier to find, diagnose and treat.


You can read more HERE regarding Patty Duke and sepsis.


Renee Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals.