My sister became sick a few weeks ago with Bronchitis. She waited to go to the doctor, as so many of us often do. Once she did go, she took her medication as prescribed and figured that would be the end of it. No more being sick. She didn’t get off that easily. Early last week, she was feeling rather ill, had a fever, and thought she just had the flu. She also was having cold chills and her heart was racing.
But later (either that day or the following day), she noticed that her left leg was extremely sore, it was red, swollen, and it was very painful when she tried to walk. She had my dad take her to the emergency room and there they told her that she had developed an infection in her blood. Fortunately, she didn’t waste any time getting treatment for this and she was able to avoid hospitalization.
She was put on more antibiotics and had to take off work for the week. Her leg, although still red, sore and swollen, started to splotch, so the antibiotics were doing their job.
The symptoms of a blood infection, or Sepsis, are:
- If you have sepsis, often you will have fever. Sometimes, though, the body temperature may be normal or even low.
- You may also have chills and severe shaking.
- Your heart may be beating very fast and your breathing rapid.
- Confusion, disorientation, and agitation may be seen as well as dizziness and decreased urination.
- Some people who have sepsis develop a rash on their skin. The rash may be a reddish discoloration or small dark red dots throughout the body.
- You may also develop pain in the joints at your wrists, elbows, back, hips, knees, and ankles.
When to go to the hospital
- If you have a child younger than 60 days with a fever, lethargy, poor feeding, change in normal behavior, or unusual rash, call your doctor and proceed to the hospital.
- If you have a family member with confusion, dizziness, fast heartbeat, fast breathing, fever, chills, rash, or dizziness, call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital’s emergency department if you cannot reach your doctor in a timely manner.