Amy Caudill

Amy Caudill

I would like to share my story from the side of providing care for sepsis. The first time I encountered a patient that had sepsis that was not recognized was early in my career as a nurse. This patient came in for chest pain, diagnosed with a heart attack and was getting morphine for pain. He had the symptoms often associated with a heart attack, as well as epigastric pain, nausea and general ill feeling.

These symptoms seemed to progress as the day went on, and about mid shift his wife called stating he was nauseated and in pain. I grabbed the morphine and nausea medicine and proceed to treat him. After he received the medications, he went unresponsive. I called a code blue, began chest compressions and quickly got his heartbeat back. He was transferred to the intensive care unit.

Because I was so worried about him, I went to check on him at the end of my shift. I entered the room to his wife on top of him in the bed crying and screaming as he laid motionless, passed on from this realm. I was devastated and had to know why? What had happened? It turns out he had actually gallbladder disease that started his pain and preceded the heart attack, this lead to him developing a necrotic area in the bowels and sepsis then septic shock. (Sepsis and Septic Shock)

He was septic the whole time I was treating him and I was not aware of the warning signs. I was committed to learning these signs and became a sepsis champion to help prevent this from happening to others. I have had to advocate for sepsis treatment for many patients since and have seen them recover without complications as well as seen those that have suffered amputations secondary to sepsis treatment. It is a horrible illness to get and is difficult to treat. The more we can learn the better we will be able to save lives and limbs. (Sepsis and Amputations)

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