Personal Health

Mother warns against Sepsis: My son died within 12 hours

Luke is physically fit, as he brings with 15 years of infection and blood poisoning developed. His heart will stop within a day to beat. A year to the 70,000 people in Germany die of Sepsis. Thousands of deaths could be preventable, experts say – if there was a better education.

It is the 28. By September 2017, as Luke comes to 14.30 PM from the school and about headache and aching legs complaining. He has an elevated temperature. Everything points to an infection. But not twelve hours later, the death of the 15-Year-old. His organs are failing. The cause of Sepsis (blood poisoning).

Three days later, Luke had his 16. Celebrated the birthday, so you were just in the middle of the party planning, told his mother, Maria Hermans. Also on the day before his death, he had walked as a youth referee on the football field. “Luke was fit and very athletic.”

“But when he came earlier that day from school, he was unusually whiny and sleepy,” recalls his mother, who suspected an infection and her son, first with painkillers to bed sent. Periodically, she checked his temperature. “I don’t know why I was so restless,” says Hermans today. “I kind of had a funny feeling.”

Other signs of a flu-like infection were absent, however, Luke got small red spots on the skin. Later, the cold came perspiration, and a high pulse of about 130. Mary Hermans was driving with her son in the emergency room of the hospital, these symptoms could not be explained simply.

“Makes me healthy”

There, they had been initially received from a young Doctor with the question, why would you not go the next day to the pediatrician. Luke was already very pale, almost greyish have been, his blood pressure is very low (50/30), his pulse extremely fast. The Doctor asked Luke whether he had taken drugs. He replied in the negative. “No one came out, what was wrong with him,” says Hermans.

“When the blood results came and then 20 minutes later, was a failure of the multi-organ already in full swing.” Top doctors and a chaplain had been agreed. A few minutes later, Luke was in an artificial coma. “Makes me healthy”, were his last words to the Doctors. And to beat though, at times, six physicians, the boy tried, heard not two hours later his heart.

Third most common cause of death in Germany

Luke is not an isolated case. Every three to four seconds, dies worldwide as a result of blood poisoning such as Sepsis Foundation reported. In Germany alone, about 70,000-75,000 people per year. So the blood poisoning is the of the Foundation, after diseases of the circulatory system and cancer are the third most common cause of death in the Federal Republic of Germany.

To Sepsis by the body’s own immune response against infection. It is often erroneously assumed that it always comes from a wound and a red line to the heart makes itself felt. This shows, however, that the lymphatics are inflamed, which can lead to blood poisoning, but do not need to.

Causes in addition to wound infections, such as lung or brain inflammation, urinary tract infections, measles, infections of the abdominal cavity, infections after surgery or a flu, skin.

Anyone who suspects they may have blood poisoning, you should immediately call the emergency medical.

If you or your family members had Sepsis and help or advice can contact the Sepsis help. Here you can talk with people who have been of Sepsis affected. You can reach the members of the Association under the 0700-73774700 (fixed costs) of 8-21 hours.

Should you wish to help to make the subject of Sepsis is known, you can support the Sepsis Foundation with a donation or become active yourself.

In particular, bacteria, but also viruses, fungi, or parasites can trigger it. If the pathogen via lymphatic and blood spread vessels in the body, it can respond to the immune system on this large-scale attack with an immense response.

The immune cells do not attack only the invaders but also our own body cells. In such a Situation, you have to react quickly, such as the Sepsis Foundation explains. Every hour is precious, because the blood poisoning is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of blood poisoning are:

  • Fever or, rarely, hypothermia, chills
  • Confusion/Drowsiness
  • fast, heavy breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • high pulse
  • unprecedented, heavy feeling of illness
  • severe muscle pain
  • peripheral Hypoperfusion, discolored skin

However, all the symptoms do not occur often. At least two of the symptoms, the suspicion is great. Often the symptoms are confused with those of flu, which leads not infrequently, as a trigger to a Sepsis. In an early Phase, when the patient would still help, not diagnosed with Sepsis according to the WHO, therefore, often.

  • to get vaccinated
  • To observe standards of hygiene

Who is most at risk?

Especially among people aged 60 and over, children under one year, people receiving immunosuppressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis or cancer, a immune deficiency, for example, by Aids or chronic diseases of the liver, heart, lung or Diabetes, but also people whose spleen is missing, like Luke, are at risk.

Luke had to be removed the Organ as a small child. “Estimated to life in Germany, 60,000 people without a spleen,” says Konrad Reinhart, a senior Professor at the University hospital of Jena, Germany and BIH Visiting Professor at the Charité in Berlin. Many people lose their spleen about after an accident, a surgery or a chemotherapy. “It will be much enlightened, too little, that these people belong to a risk group for Sepsis, and be sure to vaccinate.”

“The fact that Sepsis can arise in connection with an infection, was totally unknown to me,” says Maria Hermans and complains also about the lack of education. For Lukas' Mother, it is incomprehensible that you can die in Germany in a few hours of an infection. Even as a layman, is difficult to be well informed.

Sepsis mortality is particularly high in Germany

Experts therefore call for better education and the development of a “National sepsis plan”. According to the action Alliance patient safety, and Sepsis Foundation, the mortality rate due to severe Sepsis in a hospital in Germany in the year 2015, 41 percent, in England, 32.1 percent, in the USA, 23.5 per cent, in Australia, only 18.5 percent.

“For a country that takes in the number of hospital and intensive top beds in the world and the annual number of visits to the doctor information is, according to the OECD-twice as high as in England or in the United States, the comparatively high mortality from Sepsis, significant questions about the quality of our health care system, which is referred to by health politicians always as one of the best in the world,” explains Reinhart. In Germany, 15,000 to 20,000 deaths per year would be preventable, are the experts for sure.