OPMC: Know the signs for childhood sepsis

Clay Today
Posted 4/24/19

ORANGE PARK – Each year more than three million children around the world die from sepsis, the body’s overwhelming response to an infection or injury, making it the largest killer of children …

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OPMC: Know the signs for childhood sepsis

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Each year more than three million children around the world die from sepsis, the body’s overwhelming response to an infection or injury, making it the largest killer of children around the globe. As summertime approaches, a time when scrapes and injuries tend to happen, Orange Park Medical Center is stepping up to help spread awareness and educate parents.

Dr. Mark McCollum, Pediatric Surgeon at Orange Park Medical Center says recognizing the symptoms can be tough. Many symptoms mimic your typical cold or flu. Dr. McCollum recommends reviewing the signs and symptoms, and if your child develops two or more, immediately contact your pediatrician or bring the child into the emergency room for evaluation.

Signs and symptoms include:

• Fever or low temperature (newborns and infants may have low temperature);

• Fast heart rate;

• Fast breathing;

• Feeling cold/cold hands and feet;

• Clammy and pale skin;

• Confusion, dizziness or disorientation;

• Shortness of breath;

• Extreme pain or discomfort;

• Nausea and vomiting;

• Decrease in urine output.

The most common infections that can cause neonatal sepsis (birth up to three months) are RSV, E. Coli, Herpes and Listeria. Children living with a compromised immune system from illnesses such as cancer or serious heart defects can put children at a higher risk.

Dr. McCollum says the best way to avoid sepsis is to practice good hand hygiene, keeping scrapes and cuts clean, and most importantly keeping your child’s vaccinations up to date.

When in doubt, call your physician. If your physician is unavailable and your child’s skin is abnormally cold, they are acting lethargic or have difficulty waking or walking call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room.

Orange Park Medical Center is the only hospital in Clay County and one of two in the Jacksonville area that is certified by the Joint Commission for sepsis care.

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