There is a life-threatening condition that has claimed the lives of two more young people. It’s called sepsis. This condition is a serious burden on the American healthcare system. According to the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, there are over 750,000 cases of it per year. Out of those 750,000 cases, 215,000 results in death. Sepsis costs the American government about $16.7 billion a year.
With that said, it’s important to hear about how this condition claims the lives of individuals. I’ll start with the two young people.
Here’s the full story.
It begins a few weeks before Christmas when 12-year-old Alyssa Alcaraz was not feeling her usual happy self. Alyssa loved singing, making people laugh and cheerleading, but her illness stopped her from doing all that, so people knew it must have been serious.
According to ABC News, Alyssa’s mother Keila Lino took her to the Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, California. She got treatment there and the doctors diagnosed her with the flu and sent her home to rest, take ibuprofen and drink fluids.
Three days after being sent home to rest, Alyssa passed away, which crushed the Alcaraz family. Her death was not caused by the flu. Alyssa’s death was caused by cardiac arrest and septic shock. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a family has lost a child due to overlooking sepsis.
According to Dr. Greg Martin, doctors often miss sepsis until it’s too late because the symptoms of sepsis mimic the symptoms of the flu and pneumonia.
Before I continue with the tragic stories, I want to give you some information on sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the body’s system goes into overdrive because of an infection. Naturally, when someone is suffering from an infection, it’s up to the body to try and fight it. But did you know that the chemicals which are released when fighting an infection can actually cause inflammation throughout the body?
Symptoms of sepsis include pain, a fever of over 101, confusion, a rash, shortness of breath, and discoloured or pale skin. Those who have a weakened immune system are the ones who are the most vulnerable to developing sepsis. Unfortunately, the death rate for sepsis has continued to rise in the United States because of the growing antibiotic resistance.
Sepsis also has the ability to claim the lives of people who are relatively healthy. Take 21-year-old Kyler Baughman. He was a bodybuilder who was studying to become a personal trainer. Before Christmas, Kyler developed a fever and his symptoms began to get worse, so he went to the emergency room. From the emergency room, he was airlifted to a much larger hospital where the staff realized that they were not dealing with the flu, but something much worse. Unfortunately, 24 hours after being emitted to the hospital, Kyler passed away due to sepsis shock.
In order to prevent sepsis from occurring, it’s good to practice good hygiene. Start by cleaning any cuts and scrapes and keeping up-to-date with your vaccines. It’s also important to try and spread awareness about sepsis and to teach medical staff and parents how to recognize the symptoms before it is too late.