Quick-Thinking Mum Shares Photo To Help Parents Spot Early Signs Of Sepsis
When Ewan Ruddy fell over on some gravel at the zoo, his mum Alexandra Ruddy, 41, from Jersey, Channel Islands, said he suffered small bloody grazes to his hand, elbow and knee but "didn't think anything of it".
However, just a week later, Ewan noticed he had a small red mark tracking down a vein on his right arm, which turned out to be an early sign of sepsis.
The life-threatening illness is caused by your body going into overdrive to fight an infection, so much so that it starts attacking all your vital organs, closing them down which can lead to loss of limbs or in some cases, even death.
Alexandra, a law firm director and mum-of-three, said: "This is blood poisoning, sepsis. It isn't something you can leave until Monday when the doctors are back in the office."
She added that the mark shocked her as Ewan had fallen over and suffered grazes but "the wounds didn't look infected" or "gunky".
"When we took him home, we cleaned him up straight away and put plasters on him," she said. "His grazes weren't pussy and didn't look infected so I wasn't overly worried or concerned."
However, there were soon signs that the grazes weren't harmless, but instead were something to worry about.
"He had a slight temperature, and Ewan showed my husband a red mark and my husband said it was nothing and to not worry about it," Alexandra added. "But Ewan kept saying he didn't like it and that it was uncomfortable and itchy."
Alexandra took Ewan to A&E where where doctors quickly confirmed he had contracted sepsis, a condition that kills around 15,000 people in England every year.
"I took him down to the out of hours feeling a bit silly but when the doctor saw it he commended me on recognising it and getting down ASAP," said Alexandra.
"The doctor said well done for coming here because it could have gone a lot worse. He put a black marker on the line and said if it gets wider or bigger than this line you need to come back immediately."
Ewan was given oral antibiotics to take and they thankfully started to work. Alexandra is now raising awareness along with the Mannin Sepsis charity in the hope to help to "save someone's life".
She originally posted the picture online and it has received over 36,000 shares since June 2.
Alexandra said: "If you spot this red line running from a wound along the vein, get yourself or your child seen straight away. Ewan was fine in himself, he was happy - which is what made it difficult to notice."
Founder and director of Mannin Sepsis Charity, Dee Struthers, added: "If you or a loved one is displaying any of the signs or symptoms, always trust your instinct and ask."
You can find out more about the charity at manninsepsis.com.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS