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meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Alexander Walsh

Meningococcal disease at 4.5 months

Meningococcal disease

Xander was a bit snuffly for a few days and on the Saturday afternoon he was sick with his bottle and he then started to have diarrhoea. His sister had been off nursery with a sickness bug a few days earlier so we thought that perhaps that was what he had.

As the afternoon/evening progressed, he seemed uninterested in feeding, but was taking the dioralyte that I was giving him so we were at least keeping his fluids up. I was taking his temperature every 40-60 minutes and it was fluctuating.

By 5am on the Sunday, I just knew that something wasn't right...he seemed really lethargic but I'd checked him over lots of times and there was no rash, and he seemed fine with lights, etc but I called the out of hours doctors (fortunately they had recently moved to a section of our hospital). They asked me all the usual questions and said to keep an eye on him for a couple of hours and call again if anything changed.

I phoned back again later and although his temperature had gone down, I knew he wasn't right so they said to go in. When the doctor saw him, he said that he thought Xander might have another urine infection (he'd had one at about six weeks old) and to go along to the Assessment Unit to get it checked out.

We got to the CAU and went in to get him weighed and a urine sample...as we stripped him off, I noticed that a rash has come up on the back of his hand and that his fontanelle (soft spot on top of head) was like bubble wrap.

It was all a rush from there...they whisked him into a room, stuck drips and various other stuff on/in him. They treated for meningococcal septicaemia. It turned out to be Y strain (have no idea how he got this particular strain). All went well for first few days, he then started to 'fit', and then gradually his veins started to give up (feet, ankles, arms, wrists, groin) and he was left with drips in his head (not sure why but I found this the most distressing).

He was in for a total of three and a half weeks, had three lumbar punctures, two EEG's, one MMR and seems to have made a full recovery (albeit he is only seven months now). I count my blessings every day that it was caught early on and am thankful that the hospital staff were so amazing.

KATE WALSH

DECEMBER 2010
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