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Aibu to remind people about sepsis post partum

(37 Posts)
allotmentgardener Wed 03-Apr-19 22:03:32

Pleased to bits with myself after successful vbac 2 weeks ago ds2 shooting out after 3 pushes (after a 36 hour induction) home the next day.

Started feeling ouchy in the stitches (2nd degree tear) and generally crap but put it down just having squeezed a baby out my foof. The following day I felt worse and called the midwife explaining I thought I had a urinary infection, intense pain on weeing and feeling rough. It was the weekend no drs on she recommended drinking gallons to flush system.

Sunday night I had the shakes and a burning fever. Midwife was due to visit so I waited (day 5) I continued to think that I felt crap due to just having given birth.

She sent me straight to the GP. Who sent me straight to hospital in an ambulance for sepsis where I remained for 5 days on iv drugs until I started getting better and the fever stopped. Another 5 days of antibiotics at home.

Ladies please trust your instincts. I put on a brave face but I was really very very poorly and didn't realise it.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 22:11:55

Glad you're on the mend.

To add to your post, if you feel something isn't right then insist on being seen/examined.

I had sepsis on day five after having DC4 due to retained placenta. Woke up feeling rough, no appetite for food and the thought of even putting water in my mouth disgusted me. I was sleepy and cold, I've never known cold like it. MW on a home visit told me it was my milk coming in and all the caesarean drugs wearing off and to get some rest. A few hours later I started throwing up even though I hadn't eaten or drank all day and couldn't stop, I was vomiting up bowl after bowl of bile. Rang the postnatal ward who said it was probably food poisoning and to rest. Rang them again a few hours later when I honestly felt like I was dying, they said I must have caught a vomiting bug from my older DC and to rest. My older DC certainly didn't have any vomiting bugs. DH decided enough was enough and rang our out of hours GP. They sent a doctor straight to the house, I didn't even think they did house calls nowadays, she checked me over and rang an ambulance. I ended up in hospital for a week on IV antibiotics and then ten days of oral antibiotics at home. If I'd gone to bed to sleep it off and get some rest like the postnatal told me to, I would have died. When they tried to fob me off on the first phone call I should have insisted on going in at that point.

Apocalyptichorsewoman Wed 03-Apr-19 22:41:59

Oh bless you- glad you are on the mend!
I had septicaemia after ds2. Got an infected episiotomy wound. The bloke stitching me up was sniffing and clearly wasn't well. A couple of days later ( I was still in hospital) I felt dreadful! Like I had flu. They did blood cultures and picked it up well before the 48 hours was up,and I was on IV antibiotics for ages. My renal function dropped off a bit too. I felt shocking! I think they isolated strep pneumoniae in the blood, but I could be making that bit up...

Wallabyone Wed 03-Apr-19 22:50:03

These are terrifying stories-so glad you're ok x

BlackeyedGruesome Wed 03-Apr-19 22:59:15

Bloody hell, lucky escape here then from infected stitches.

mumsie8 Wed 03-Apr-19 23:10:51

I was told it was probably trapped wind and to drink peppermint tea (2 days post partum at home). Being a typical stiff upper lip english person i carried on until i actually couldn't move. Long story short once i finally went to hospital and they took blood cultures and arterial bloods and with a crp reading of 435 they found strep A in a culture and i'd consequentially developed sepsis. 5 days in hospital on a 4 hourly iv drip and a further 10 days on oral antibiotics at home. I knew i wasn't right the first time i rang. Trust yourself ladies. I cut it a bit fine but i'm ok. Funnily enough it will be a year to the day when i went back in on the 5th of this month. How uncannily (--and somewhat spookily)--timely this thread is for me. flowers and good health to you all.

Mammajay Wed 03-Apr-19 23:51:51

This is a very worrying thread. Many years ago I had retained placenta which was luckily discovered after 10 days. At the time I was told it could be life threatening, presumably due to sepsis. I had stomach pain but was told it was wind. There are so many changes happening to your body after birth that I think Mumsnet or Sepsis UK need to do some sort of campaign to raise awareness in new mums, midwives and other health professionals. Thank you op for raising the subject and happily, after bad experiences, the other posters survived. Shall we all email sepsis UK???

elliejjtiny Thu 04-Apr-19 00:06:28

Glad you are getting better and congratulations on your baby.

I got sepsis during labour. Thankfully I was being very closely monitored at the time so it was caught early. I've never felt so ill or been so scared. Ds came out floppy and not breathing. He has been left with disabilities but I am thankful we both survived.

Mammajay Thu 04-Apr-19 08:59:03

So can we do something collectively to get the message to other mums and health professionals who won't have read this thread

Siameasy Thu 04-Apr-19 09:05:43

Thanks for raising awareness. Glad you were ok in the end. It feels like sepsis is more common but I’m thinking it’s just that we are hearing about it now.
I had a sepsis screen due to having a lot of the indicators so my hospital were very alert to it which is reassuring but I didn’t have it thank goodness

Bearfrills Thu 04-Apr-19 09:16:19

If you tag @MNHQ they might be able to run do something as part of their better post-natal care campaign?

PicsInRed Thu 04-Apr-19 09:38:31

Is the rate of sepsis higher in the UK than comparable western nations? Very, very seldom do you hear stories like this in my home country.

Antibiotics are given more freely in my home country, and at an earlier stage of illness, so could that result in less progression to sepsis?

One thing I've noticed in the UK is how difficult it is to obtain antibiotics (as in, when they are absolutely indicated, and are later prescribed) and how much further a bacterial illness needs to progress here in order for antibiotics to be prescribed.

I understand the fight against antibiotic resistance but the UK does seem to be fighting an extreme fight - and by itself.

Bearfrills Thu 04-Apr-19 09:57:10

One thing I've noticed in the UK is how difficult it is to obtain antibiotics

I had an out of hours GP have a rant to me about this.

A few months after having DC4 I had symptoms of a UTI so went to my GP who did a urine dip which found positive for blood. She said I was probably getting over the back end of a UTI and the blood was from my "recently" finished period even though it had finished nearly two weeks before and I'd showered umpteen times since then. No need for antibiotics, I was told. 4-5 hours later and I was in a lot of pain, sweating my arse off, and going to the loo every 15-20 minutes and peeing blood while whimpering at how much it was hurting. At out of hours the GP did a dip and then had a rant about my GP not giving me them earlier in the day when I would have only needed a three day course of one antibiotic instead of a seven day course of stronger antibiotics. He said resistance is a concern but, in his opinion, it's gone too far in the opposite direction with some doctors refusing antibiotics even when clinically indicated. Clinical indications in my case were active symptoms, blood in urine, and a recent history of sepsis.

frogsoup Thu 04-Apr-19 10:08:02

After c section with dd2 I was in SO much pain. I felt absolutely horrific. I'd had full abdominal surgery before but this was off the scale. I still got sent home after 24 hours with a patronising 'yes dear of course it hurts, what do you expect' from the midwife. After the ride home I could hardly walk the three metres from the car to my sofa. When I got there, I was hit with the sudden realisation that this really wasn't right. I took my temperature and it was 38.5. I rang triage and they told me to come straight back in. All told I spent about six minutes at home! I was on heavy-duty IV antibiotics within the hour and spent the next week in hospital. Im still pretty shocked that if I'd been fractionally less on the ball, a dismissive midwife might have cost me my life. I can't quite believe they actually sent me home less than 24 hours post-section, with a temperature, in the early stages of sepsis!

SeaEagleFeather Thu 04-Apr-19 10:09:53

Congrats (!) OP, you've had and survived what used to be called Puerperal fever. Did for a lot of women in the olden days.

I had it pre-birth, also wasn't recognised. Son was given only a 5% chance to survive, I was told later, and I would've followed him. It must have been only a very short time before it would have been entirely too late. He is, thank god, fine.

notatwork Thu 04-Apr-19 10:13:15

YANBU.
Had DD on the Saturday, by Tuesday wasn't well at all. Midwife took swabs. Called out MW or GP every day for a week, they didn't even examine me. I was wrapped in a blanket shaking then alternately sweating (MW told me to take off the blanket as I was clearly overheating myself).
On the next Monday I went in to GP and said there was something very wrong. He told me there was no sign of any infection but I did look rough so to go to the hospital review ward that afternoon. Went home, begged exH to take me to hospital. Made it to the ward by 3pm. Was in ICU by 4pm.
That evening the surgery called the house to say my swabs had come back positive and I could pick up a prescription for antiBs from them. My DM told them I was in ICU and at that point it didn't look likely I was going to make it.
I had 6 weeks in hospital, kidney and lung failure. I had baby early September, was home by mid November. Now, 15 years later, I have scarred lungs ( a cold always gives me bronchitis), multiple internal adhesions (daily pain) and so many niggly health issues.

Bearfrills Thu 04-Apr-19 10:16:15

After c section with dd2 I was in SO much pain. I felt absolutely horrific. I'd had full abdominal surgery before but this was off the scale. I still got sent home after 24 hours with a patronising 'yes dear of course it hurts, what do you expect' from the midwife

Same here. I was in lots of pain which really was my first indication something wasn't right. MW told me "you've just had a section, of course you're in pain" totally disregarding that this being DC4 I had experience of standard post-section discomfort vs unusual levels of pain. I needed morphine just to be able to get out of bed, was made to feel like I was malingering and drug seeking, then was discharged without anyone examining me and only paracetamol for pain relief.

TurtleCavalryIsSeriousShit Thu 04-Apr-19 10:18:03

This thread is so timely! I've just found out that an old friend of mine is in ICU with sepsis after the birth of her second baby.

I didn't know that it was a 'thing' post partum? Thank you so much for this.

I'm really glad you are on the mend flowers

Mammajay Thu 04-Apr-19 10:59:37

Bearfrills, how do you tag @mnhq? I just emailed sepsis UK. I think a few more emails might raise the profile of the issue. I think the problem is particularly worrying postpartum as the body is often recovering from trauma and also changing a lot. Health profs also need to be aware

ExplodingCarrots Thu 04-Apr-19 11:06:37

I'd never heard of sepsis until I got it myself. I'm glad you got help in time and have recovered.
I got Sepsis after having an emergency C section. Was only home for a couple of days before I started feeling poorly. DH couldn't wake me one night when DD needed feeding and at first we put it down to exhaustion. But later that day I started violently shaking and felt freezing even though my temperature was 40. DH called the midwife who came straight away and she sent me straight to hospital where it was confirmed Sepsis and I was in hospital for another week hooked up to an IV. So lucky I had a quick thinking midwife.

Always make yourself aware of the symptoms of Sepsis.

Bearfrills Thu 04-Apr-19 11:29:49

You can @ them or you can report the thread by clicking on the three dots in the corner of any post and write your message to them in the information box.

I started violently shaking and felt freezing

Isn't the cold awful? I've never know cold like it and when I was in that drifting place I remember thinking that at least if I died I wouldn't feel so cold anymore.

ExplodingCarrots Thu 04-Apr-19 11:42:39

@Bearfrills it was awful sad and the worse thing was that because my temperature was 40 they were trying to cool me down and they stripped me off to my underwear, opened the windows and were sponging me down in cold water . But I felt freezing so it felt ten times worse. I completely feel for anyone who has been through it. It was traumatising .

Mammajay Thu 04-Apr-19 12:02:52

Sepsis symptom awareness needs to be at the level of meningitis and stroke IMO.

allotmentgardener Thu 04-Apr-19 12:15:53

I am humbled by the stories here.

I was lucky my (student) midwife picked up on it. Could have been a much worse.

I wish good health for everyone post partum. Will email sepsis UK.

iVampire Thu 04-Apr-19 12:24:45

I agree with mammajay

There needs to be a generally greater awareness of the symptoms of sepsis. I am at a higher risk (permanently) for other reasons, so am very familiar with what symptoms mean I need to contact a hospital urgently.

Posting on this thread because I think it’s really important for everyone and so more info, including routinely including it for post-partum women, can only be a good thing

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