My name is Rebecca, I am 39 and live in Suffolk. In November I was 8 months pregnant, and thought I was suffering from flu all weekend, but, by Monday morning I still felt like I had the flu. I was managing to keep my temperature under control by taking regular paracetamol.
As the morning went on it was a struggle to get up from the sofa, so I made a call to my doctors surgery to ask if a doctor could come out and see me. I explained that I was sure I had the flu but was concerned about my pregnancy, and didn’t feel I would be able to make it to the surgery. The receptionist told me that the doctor was unable to come out and see me until the following afternoon. I agreed to the appointment.
An hour later I felt worse, and so called the NHS helpline, answered their questions and told them the doctor couldn’t see me until the following day, the advice they gave me was to call the doctor back and tell them they had a duty of care to see my that day. I came off the phone, at which point I had started shivering and felt freezing.
Fortunately my 15 year old daughter was at home with me, she said that clearly something wasn’t right as my lips had turned blue. At this point she called 999. A first responder, paramedic car and ambulance all arrived very quickly. My shivering was put down to my very high temperature, and I was told that I would be taken into A&E. The paramedics said they thought I had a kidney infection but all four of them said they were intrigued to know why I had turned blue.
I feel really fortunate that upon arrival at the hospital the A&E dept was full up and the ambulance crew took me straight to the maternity unit. The midwives and doctors immediately set me up with a drip and treated me for suspected sepsis, I was told that my blood cultures would take 3 days to confirm their suspicions.
I was extremely I’ll for the next three days, and had already gone into kidney failure, but at no time was told about how serious sepsis is. Three days later my blood cultures confirmed sepsis caused by Ecoli.
I was discharged after a week, and the next 5 weeks of my pregnancy I spent recovering on a maintenance dose of antibiotics.
On 12th of January my beautiful boy was born, he was immediately taken to neonatal care and also treated for sepsis due to the fact my waters had broken two days before he was born.
I had never heard of sepsis before, but now that I read the signs I can recognise that I had them all, as did my newborn who had all the signs including the grunting.
I feel thankful that the maternity unit were sepsis aware. Had I been admitted to A&E I think the outlook wouldn’t have been so good, neither I or my baby might not be here today.