Let me start by saying that Amos does NOT have sepsis. He is having another great day with no issues except blood clots. Yay! I am studying sepsis and septic shock because Blakely (our 7 year old) is home sick with some kind of respiratory illness. I’m worried about what may happen if that infection/virus spreads to Amos.
I remember the chemo nurse warning us about sepsis. Most of my knowledge about sepsis comes from episodes of House where it seems like most of his patients “went septic” at some point before he correctly diagnosed them.
Here is what I found out from MD Anderson about sepsis:
Because of weakened immune systems, cancer patients are at high risk for developing a disorder called sepsis. And because many people have never heard of this disorder before, they don’t recognize the symptoms early enough to get help. That’s why, worldwide, sepsis causes more deaths each year than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined, according to the Global Sepsis Alliance.
Sepsis happens when the body’s immune system kicks in to fight an infection, but instead goes into overdrive and damages its own tissues and organs. This can lead to shock, failure of multiple bodily organs and even death.
Awareness of the problem and a high degree of suspicion are key. Sepsis can present in many different ways, but some of the most common signs are:
- Fever and shaking chills
- Reduced mental alertness, sometimes with confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate, greater than 90 beats per minute
- Increased respiratory rate, greater than 30 breaths per minute
- High or low white blood cell count
- Low blood pressure
- Altered kidney or liver function
Most of the items listed here have already been happening to Amos because of the chemo or cancer. To be safe, the chemo nurse told us to take him to the ER at the slightest sign of fever (Anything over 100 degrees).
We are headed to a movie tonight which in my reading I found to be acceptable by doctors. Hopefully his work environment at the prison won’t be an issue when he returns.
They said that being around friends and family is important for cancer patients so I know we can’t quarantine him or keep him at home all the time. I can try to keep sick kids at a safe distance, disinfect, and we can avoid large crowds and people who are sick. The rest I will leave up to the Lord. #teamamos