FLU OR SEPSIS?
I just read about a lawsuit in Minn where a man and wife both presented to the emergency room with flu like symptoms. Days later, the man came back, complaining of pain, decreased appetite, etc. Blood work was done and revealed the man had sepsis. Sepsis is often referred to as a blood stream infection. It is caused by the presence of bacteria (bacteremia) or other infectious organisms or their toxins in the blood (septicemia) or in other tissue of the body.
So how or why would someone confuse the FLU and sepsis? Sepsis may be associated with clinical symptoms of systemic (bodywide) illness, such as fever, chills, malaise (generally feeling “rotten”), low blood pressure, and mental status changes.
Some of these are similar to the Flu, but the two are not similar. Labs should tell you what is the Flu, and what is more serious. Sadly, it seems the Minn. doctor ordered the right tests, but didn’t respond when nurses asked for further direction and care.