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Sepsis - high blood pressure?

(11 Posts)
Starstarbright599 Thu 11-May-17 21:27:56

The common symptoms of sepsis are listed as blood pressure - high or low. I understand sepsis more commonly causes septic shock and therefore blood pressure but how when/does it cause high? If anyone knows the answer I'd be very grateful!

stuntcamel Thu 11-May-17 21:43:20

If you think there is any possibility of sepsis, then go straight to hospital, don't hang about on here waiting for answers - go!

Starstarbright599 Thu 11-May-17 22:44:36

Thanks I'm sorry to make you panic - I wasn't very clear. I'm trying to understand what happened to my baby when she got very ill just after she was born (a while ago now). She's recovered now but we never got a diagnosis and it's always bothered me. A leading theory is neonatal sepsis but she had very high bp not low which the drs then say likely ruled out sepsis.

Starstarbright599 Thu 11-May-17 22:45:43

I find it hard living with the knowledge we will never know what happened.

Ellapaella Thu 11-May-17 23:12:07

Usually blood pressure is high initially then drops as the body starts to compensate - vessels dilate and blood pressure drops. There are many other signs and symptoms of sepsis though other than blood pressure so it would all need to be in the context of a clinical picture for anyone to give you a straight answer.
Children 'crash' very quickly when unwell and will not compensate as long as adults.

Starstarbright599 Fri 12-May-17 18:30:39

Thanks Ella - yes the picture we have is a neonate (week old) having

High blood pressure
Fast heart rate
Low oxygen sats
Grunting - this was the initial symptom
Mottled skin
Enlarged liver
Failing heart with very low function, thickened muscle, dilated and leaky valves

She had the sepsis antibiotics and was Intubated and bp stablised and then made a good recovery (tho complicated by a blood clot).

They didn't find any bacteria etc in her bloods but I understand they often don't with very young babies - especially as the bloods were taken after the antibiotics.

I had an infection (I think) and my other D.C. Had an awful awful virus at the time.

We were told so many theories but nothing conclusive - it's hard to reconcile never knowing what it was. Sepsis or viral myocarditis were the top theories but they said her heart recovered too fast for viral myocarditis.

Ellapaella Fri 12-May-17 18:39:57

Sounds like a very scary time for you op, I guess it may be the case that you might not ever know what caused it? If they tested for all sorts and couldn't find a cause I guess the medics themselves will just have to go with the most likely scenario. Did you have any outpatient follow up that you were able to talk it through with a doctor?

Starstarbright599 Fri 12-May-17 18:43:21

We've had loads of follow up with a great general paed but yes you are right, they just don't know. I'm mostly reconciled with that but every now and then I have to answer odd questions that pop inti my head like how can you get high bp with sepsis - as all the internet just talks about low. I guess it's from a latent fear that if we don't know cause or understand what happened then it could happen again although I know this is really really unlikely.

PossumInAPearTree Fri 12-May-17 19:06:19

I did read a study a while ago which suggested that high blood pressure in sepsis may be the body's way of trying to protect itself against cerebral ischemia. So oxygen levels drop during sepsis and there is a risk of brain damage if the brain isn't oxygenated. So the body raises blood pressure to increase blood flow to the brain. As the sepsis develops and the body is less able to fight, blood vessels start leaking then blood pressure drops.

PossumInAPearTree Fri 12-May-17 19:08:22

I do work in a hospital environment by the way. Our observations charts don't score for high blood pressure and it's not something I've personally noticed in patients with sepsis.

Starstarbright599 Fri 12-May-17 19:16:51

Thank you possium that's helpful.

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