Mum warns parents after sick son's wound turned out to be sign of sepsis

Sepsis sign

She wants other parents to know that if a kid is sick, they shouldn't ignore this.

Because of their developing immune systems, children get sick all the time. In many cases, it's nothing serious, but parents often err on the side of caution and take their child to the doctor when anything seems strange.

U.K. mom Alexandra Ruddy is glad she did, because it ended up saving her son's life.

As the mother detailed in a Facebook post, in late May, her 8-year-old had a fall at the zoo, leaving him with some wounds on his arm and elbow. She tried to make sure his cuts didn't get infected by cleaning them when he got home, and telling her son's school to make sure he washed his hands after digging during a designated "farm" theme day. "I tried hard to ensure it was kept clean," she wrote.

Although her son's wounds didn't look infected, she became concerned when she noticed they had grown. She wrote that on their way to the beach a week or so after the fall, she saw a red line tracking down his vein, as well as down his elbow. Because her friend's son had gotten sepsis two years ago, she decided to take her child to urgent care just in case, even though she admitted feeling "a bit silly" about it.


When the doctor examined her son, he broke the news. The red tracking was a sign of blood poisoning or sepsis, a life-threatening condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis happens when an existing infection "triggers a chain reaction throughout your body." If you don't get treated fast enough, it could quickly cause tissue damage, organ failure and death. On the CDC website, signs mentioned include high heart rate, fever, shivering and feeling cold, and symptoms include confusion or disorientation, shortness of breath, extreme pain or discomfort, and clammy or sweaty skin. In addition to treating the source of the infection, patients with sepsis are also given antibiotics and receive oxygen and intravenous fluids to maintain blood flow and oxygen to organs.

Alexandra wrote that the doctor commended her on seeking medical attention for her son so quickly after noticing the red tracking, because things could've turned out very badly for her child if she had waited longer. "It isn't something you can 'leave' until Monday when the doctors are back in the office," she wrote.

Just like her friend, who, by sharing her story about her son getting sepsis, helped Alexandra save her son's life, the U.K. mom hopes to pay it forward. "If you spot this red line running from a wound along the vein get yourself and your child seen straight away. Hopefully my post might help someone the way my friend's post from two years ago helped me," she wrote.

As for her son? When she wrote the post, which now has 97,000 shares, she said her son had been responding well to the antibiotics and was feeling better.

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