Signs of Sepsis

Wednesday, 17 May, 2017


A mother-of-three has thanked the paramedic who helped to save her life after spotting the signs of sepsis.

Rhian Doyle from Llanfairfechan was celebrating her daughter Afiya's fifth birthday with her family in February, when she started feeling feverish and experiencing abdominal pain following a recent operation.

The 31-year-old's symptoms gradually grew worse as the day continued and by night time decided to ring the GP Out of Hours service, where she was advised by a nurse that she had a possible infection and to dial 999.

At first she was reluctant, however after being encouraged by her concerned husband Chris she decided to call the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Paramedic Berwyn Jones was first on scene in his rapid response car and found she had a high temperature and a fast pulse rate.
Rhian, who also has two sons Aidan, aged seven, and Christopher, 10, said: "I was just sat there during the party and I couldn't stand up because I was in so much pain that I couldn't even watch her blow out her candles.

"I felt sick, hot and dizzy. I still hesitated to call 999 as I said to my husband that I wanted to go to bed and didn't want to call an ambulance out because I wasn't having a heart attack or anything, but he decided to call them and that's when Berwyn turned up.

"I remember him arriving and telling me that I didn't look well and he asked me a few questions about what had happened previously with my surgery. Berwyn told me that my temperature was very high and my heart rate was 140.
"He asked me about my pain and I said it was really bad, so he instantly gave me pain relief. The pain came from nowhere, it was uncontrollable and I can't remember much after that."

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, triggered by an infection or injury, which causes the body's immune system to go into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection.

It can reduce the blood supply to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys and without quick treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure.
By using the NHS Early Warning Score (NEWS) tool which includes a trigger for sepsis, Berwyn was able to identify the symptoms and began administering a pain relieving medication, as well as calling for ambulance back up.
After being admitted to the Emergency Department on Sunday 19 February, Rhian was taken to the resuscitation area where she given antibiotics and fluids before having an operation the next morning to deal with the infection.
Rhian has expressed her gratitude to the ambulance team for helping to save her life.

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