Our first son Seth was born on 22nd May 2013.
At seven weeks old on 12th July 2013 we had enjoyed a family barbecue.
Seth’s routine had been normal and he had fed well throughout the day. A family member had commented earlier in the day that his urine was strong smelling when his nappy was changed but we didn’t really think anything more about it.
Bedtime: Hot & Groaning
At around 10.30pm after his last bottle for the evening, we put Seth down for the night. At this stage, he was thankfully still sleeping in our room.
Around five minutes after putting him down we noticed that he felt very hot. As it had been a really hot day we thought he was just feeling warm so stripped off some of his clothes.
He then began to groan while breathing.
We instantly became worried and contacted the out of hours GP.
GP Out-Of-Hours: Mottled Skin
Given his young age, we were asked to bring him to the out of hours GP immediately.
She examined him and enquired “how long has his skin been like this”? We hadn’t noticed that his skin was mottled.
She asked us to step out while she contacted a Paediatrician as she wanted to discuss his condition given that he was very young.
A few minutes later she called us back in and asked us to go straight to the children’s ward at Craigavon Area Hospital (the out of hours GP was located on the same site).
We were met by two doctors and three nurses who were awaiting our arrival and Seth was immediately given paracetamol in an attempt to bring his temperature down.
We still had no idea how serious things were and felt that he was possibly dehydrated. It only hit us how serious his condition was when a nurse said not to put an ID bracelet on his arm until they were able to find a vein for a line.
At this point we realised that he was being admitted.
Bloods were immediately taken and IV antibiotics were commenced. We were moved onto the ward where Seth’s temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels were continuously monitored.
We were told that we had a very sick baby and to prepare to be in hospital for quite a few days. Doctors told us that Seth was presenting as a baby who was “septic”. We had no idea what this meant.
Blood results a few hours later confirmed Sepsis, resulting in a change of antibiotic to treat the Urinary Tract Infection which had been diagnosed as the cause of Sepsis.
The following day Seth also had to undergo a lumbar puncture to ensure the bacteria hadn’t spread from his blood to his spinal fluid.
Seth was kept in hospital for one week on IV antibiotics, however as he was so small his veins kept collapsing and new lines had to be inserted regularly.
At times veins couldn’t be found in his hands or feet and on more than one occasion the needle had to be inserted into a vein in his head.
After one week we took Seth home with the community nurses calling twice daily to continue to administer IV antibiotics and we also took him to the children’s ward at midnight for his final dose of the day.
Again the issues with the lines persisted resulting in extra visits to hospital on an almost daily basis to have another line inserted.
After another week Seth’s antibiotic was changed to an oral one and he was discharged from the children’s ward. An ultrasound scan during his admission had confirmed kidney reflux which had caused the UTI which in turn led to sepsis.
Seth stayed on a daily prophylactic antibiotic until he was three years old.
He had a further scan where dye was put into his kidneys to see if there had been any lasting damage to them. Thankfully this was clear!