The parents of a 12-year-old boy who had flu that led to a blood infection have warned others about how sepsis can kill healthy kids in hours.
Caleb Logan complained of a sore throat in July this year, and his mother Rachel immediately took him to the doctor, who said that Caleb had a viral infection, and will just have to come back if he was feeling any worse.
However, just days later, Caleb’s condition worsened until he needed a machine to breathe.
Caleb was diagnosed with influenza B and sepsis, which causes organs to shut down, and he was placed in an induced coma. “We had to prepare ourselves that the next 24 to 48 hours was critical and he may not make it through the night,” his mother said.
Caleb’s case is almost similar to the case of teenager Mercedes King, from Mackay, who is now in stable condition at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital after being in a critical state.
Now, Queensland doctors, led by Caleb’s doctor, are spearheading a landmark Queensland study, hoping to develop a simple blood test that could diagnose the infection faster.
They hope that the test could determine who has sepsis and who is likely to develop it within a 12 to 24 hour period.
Sepsis develops when the chemicals that the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead.
Since its symptoms are identical with that of a flu, the study aims for genetic markers to determine why healthy children’s bodies attack themselves.