‘I realised my son had sepsis thanks to a Facebook group’
His condition soon deteriorated further and he began to suck in at his ribs.
Jasmine Stevens, 21, recently took to TikTok claiming if she hadn’t found the knowledge by chance, her son’s sepsis infection could have ‘ended very differently’.
A bereaved mum had posted on a Facebook group she was in, and alarm bells started ringing as Mateo, then four months old, had skin that looked mottled and a temperature.
Jasmine said: ‘We assumed the mottled skin was him trying to regulate his temperature. He gets a high temperature when poorly, so it wasn’t a major cause for concern.’
His condition soon deteriorated further and he began to suck in at his ribs – another tell-tale sign of the deadly condition – and spent the day generally sleepy in her arms.
Jasmine added: ‘That made me realise something more serious was going on and I wondered if he had sepsis.
‘I’m in a Facebook group for mums. There’s a lady in there whose baby sadly died from sepsis, and she’s always sharing the symptoms – the mottled skin, the high temperature, and the sucking in of the ribs.
‘I then tried to feed Mateo and he went floppy. When his head rolled back, I blew on his face to help him regain consciousness.
‘Thankfully, he came back and I called an ambulance.
‘At this point, his temperature was about 40 – and it wasn’t coming down.’
Jasmine, who has two children, explained that by the time they reached hospital, her son was also suffering from ‘raspy breathing’.
First, they checked for bronchitis, then sepsis. Immediately he was admitted to hospital and put on antibiotics, with a cannula fitted.
While his condition improved thanks to the treatment he received, Mateo, who was breastfed, still wasn’t feeding well.
Jasmine explained: ‘Every time I fed him, he was throwing it back up. They said to me, “If he doesn’t improve, you’re going to have to tube feed him.”
‘He did begin to eat though, and I was so glad as we were able to go home on ward leave to see my other son, Valentino who was at home with my partner.. When I got back, Mateo’s temperature was 35, and it was stuck at that.’
During Mateo’s week in hospital, the mum learned that Mateo had a bacterial virus – the leading cause of most sepsis cases, as reported by the World Health Organisation.
His mum added: ‘It was confirmed that he had sepsis on the sixth day.
Tell-tale signs and symptoms that may indicate sepsis in infants:
- fever or hypothermia
- rapid breathing
- poor feeding
- irritability or lethargy
- change in skin colour
- rapid heart rate
- decreased urine output
- vomiting and diarrhoea
‘He had to spend a week in hospital. It took about a week for his temperature to start coming down, but he was still very sleepy.
‘His hands and feet were cold until about a week after as well. But you could see progress throughout the days – he started interacting a bit more and being more awake throughout the day.’
The possible cause of sepsis was an ear infection, but they can’t be certain.
Now, almost a year on from the ordeal last November, Mateo has recovered.
She now is hoping that by sharing her son’s story, she can help other parents to recognise sepsis symptoms before it’s too late, as this may well have saved her son’s life.
Dr Chun Tang, Medical Director and GP at Pall Mall Medical in Manchester, said: ‘Sepsis is a serious medical condition that can affect individuals of all ages, including babies. It occurs when the body’s response to infection causes widespread inflammation and can lead to organ dysfunction or failure.
‘Detecting sepsis in babies can be challenging because their symptoms may be subtle, and they cannot communicate their discomfort.’
‘It’s important to note that these signs and symptoms can be nonspecific and may overlap with other common infant illnesses,’ Dr Chun added.
‘If you spot any of the warning signs of sepsis in your baby, it’s crucial to take immediate action to seek medical help. Sepsis is a medical emergency, and early intervention is critical for a better outcome.’
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