Four days later on February 29th, she as moved into ICC because she continued to have the same symptoms and appeared to be getting worse. After doing my own research on her symptoms, I asked the ICC nurse if they tested her for sepsis. She confirmed that she did have sepsis and they were now treating that along with a laundry list of other things. Eight days later, my mother passed away from complications of: Sepsis, COOP, Pneumonia, Hypoxia, Kielbasa, and Hyperplasia (carbon-dioxide poisoning). Sepsis is a condition that can be a cause or result of other diseases and infections. Wayne
Robinson and Ron Daniels (2013) quote the definition as: Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissue and organs. Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis remains the primary cause of death from infection despite advances in modern medicine, including vaccines, antibiotics and acute care. Millions of people worldwide die of sepsis every year (l 2). Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose quickly because of the underlying infection(s) hat may be causing the sepsis.
There is a very small window of opportunity in which treatment can dramatically improve survival. A patient that is admitted with severe sepsis is at a level of risk many times greater than if he or she were admitted with a stroke or heart attack. The two most common infections associated with sepsis are It’s and pneumonia. In my mother’s case, she had a OUT and was unaware that she had one. In fact, she probably had it for a couple of weeks prior to going to the hospital. There are three diagnosed levels of sepsis; sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock.

Sepsis is a systematic inflammatory response to an infection defined by two or more inflammatory response syndrome criteria. Those criteria are based on observations such as fever, slow respirations (breathing), rapid heart rate, and an altered mental state. Some blood test results can assist in determining this as well. Severe sepsis is present when one or more organs begin to fail as a result of sepsis. Acute respiratory distress can accompany severe sepsis as well as a disease called Disseminated Intramuscular Coagulation (DICE), which has to do with the blood not clotting normally.
DICE is highly relevant to outcome in patients with sepsis. The final level of diagnosis is septic shock. Septic shock is present when there is evidence that the tissues and organs are receiving insufficient amounts of oxygen and nutrients, low blood pressure, a rapid heart rate and breathing, and can be considered the most severe end of the spectrum of this disease. As stated earlier, my mother had a laundry list of things wrong with her, all contributing to her death. Some of the infections she had developed from the sepsis infection, and some of them caused the sepsis infection.
Her UT’, for example, was ere initial diagnosis when she came into the ERE. People with limited or no sensation below the waist may not know they have a UT’. “An untreated OUT may spread to the kidney, causing more pain and illness. It can also cause sepsis. The term resources is usually used to describe sepsis caused by a UT'” (Sepsis Alliance, n. D. , ‘1 2). More than one half of reported cases of older adults with resources are caused by a UT’. Another interesting fact is that one-third of people who develop sepsis, die from it.
Those that do survive it are usually left with some type of organ dysfunction and/or amputation. While in the ICC, my mother developed hyperplasia (carbon-dioxide poisoning). This infection was a result of the sepsis. I had never heard of hyperplasia before so I started to ask questions. Because of the sepsis infection, my mother’s respirations were very weak. She wasn’t breathing hard enough to release the carbon-dioxide from her body when she exhaled. To assist her with breathing, she was put on a APIPA machine that forced the oxygen into her system so she could breathe easier.
The hope was that this machine would help her breathe until she was well enough to earth properly on her own. The nurses tried small intervals of removing the machine to see how she would do, but her gas levels would go back up if off of the machine too long. The highest gas rate at one time was 86, which is almost quadruple what a normal level should be. Another infection that my mother developed while in the hospital was Kielbasa. Kielbasa is a type of bacteria that causes other infections. “Kielbasa infections commonly occur among sick patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions.
Patients who require devices like ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous catheters are more at risk for Kielbasa infections” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012, ‘1 1). A person has to be exposed to the bacteria to get the infection. Unfortunately, medical tools such as ventilators and intravenous catheters allow Kielbasa to enter the body off patient and cause infection. It is very rare for Kielbasa to spread to family members of patient’s. Healthy people are at a very low risk of acquiring this infection.
My mother most likely developed Kielbasa from the Bi-PAP machine she needed to use to breathe, as well as a compromised immune system. Another condition my mother developed as a result of the sepsis was hypoxia. In her case, she had metabolic hypoxia. This developed because of the high demand of oxygen required from her tissues. Even though the oxygen can be transported and absorbed properly, it is not enough when it comes to sepsis. Some organs that can be affected by hypoxia are the heart, liver and the brain. There is a correlation between edema and hypoxia as well.
Edema is the swelling of tissues (usually due to heart failure) and can limit the ability of oxygen to reach tissues. Since my mother also had edema, her hypoxia very well could have developed from both the sepsis and edema. One of the last infections my mother developed was pneumonia. Pneumonia is commonly associated with sepsis as either a result or a cause. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs and can be in Just one or both lungs. If pneumonia alone is left untreated it can be deadly. In the days prior to antibiotics, about one third of people who developed bacteria pneumonia died.
Once my mother developed pneumonia, we knew that she was never going to recover from all of the infections she was developing. She came into the hospital with COOP that she had for several years prior and a number of other issues that only contributed to her development of sepsis and these other infections. Out of the millions worldwide that die every year from sepsis, more than 750,000 of them are in the U. S. One article I read said that sepsis “triggers a cascading, whole-body inflammatory response” (McKinney, 2014, ‘1 3).
According to federal data, it is the leading cause of hospital deaths in ICC and the 10th leading cause of death in the United States overall. Hospitals continue to struggle when it comes to early detection of sepsis. Another interesting fact I found was that researchers noted high rates of sepsis mortality in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southern States; even as much as four times the national average. These areas are called “hot spots”. Researchers continue to research the reasons behind this. “Is it a result of patient level differences: commodities, age, race, smoking, alcohol, etc.? Is it a result of MS care?
DEED care? In-patient care? This needs to be sorted out” (Struck, 2013, ‘1 6). The following graph from 2010 illustrates the death rate in these hot spots as well as there areas of the United States: (McKinney, 2014) There really is no single test for sepsis. It is at the discretion of the DEED and physicians to carefully screen patients who might have it in order to rule it out or identify who actually has it. Unfortunately, there is not one single treatment that targets sepsis. Instead, physicians and nurses follow a number of treatments including antibiotics, intravenous fluids, oxygen, and in some cases, surgery.
Sometimes it is hard to get physicians to think about sepsis as a disease that is time- sensitive like a heart-attack. Continuous efforts and resources will hopefully lead too reduction in mortality rates. In conclusion, not enough is known about sepsis, yet it is one of the most deadly diseases someone can get. My father had never heard of sepsis until mom was diagnosed with it. After learning more about sepsis, I am not surprised she developed it. She was sick for years starting back in 2007 when she had a triple- bypass, Cybernetic surgery for cancer on her lung, and a kidney removed for cancer as well.
She never fully recovered from all of that and I think it Just made her alienable to other infections and diseases. Watching the disease progress firsthand made me see that it is almost impossible for anyone to recover from it. As stated earlier, it cascades into other diseases so rapidly that hospital staff cannot stop it. We were told that there was no way my mother was ever going to recover from the disease and to keep her alive she would need to be on a machine for the rest of her shortened life. No one deserves to live like that. Sepsis will leave a patient with no quality of life and a poisoning of the whole body.
I want to help create more wariness about the disease and will continue to do research on the disease and other diseases that cause and result from it. I am also going to seek out organizations in our area to see how I can be an advocate for this awful disease. I would love to be able to educate families that may be going through what my family had to go through. This evil may have taken my mother from me, but it has only made me stronger and more determined than ever to do something positive and help others. Reference Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Kielbasa pneumonia in Healthcare Settings.

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