Mum warns about how a dental infection almost killed her son...
"He vomited a lot of black blood... It was a nightmare. I almost lost my son."
“It all started with a toothache. We never expected it to come to this. To mums who don’t have the time to take care of your child, please give time to your kids. Teach them to brush their teeth and take care of it.”
These are the words of Filipino mum Leah Liza Duran, who’s son Bryle developed sepsis from a tooth infection.
“I almost lost my son,” she says…
Mummy Leah shared her nightmare on Facebook recently.
“I’m posting this to raise awareness to all mothers out there because we are the ones responsible to teach our children to brush their teeth,” she says.
“My son got sepsis because his teeth are swollen. I didn’t know it was dangerous. He got seizure or convulsions because the bacteria got into his brain from his swollen gums that have pus.”
The child was rushed to hospital.
“His heartbeat was at 40 so he was given a lot of medication. Then he vomited a lot of black blood which I had no picture of. It was a nightmare.”
Doctors warned Leah that there could be bleeding in the brain caused by the bacteria. Bryle’s blood pressure was very low.
“His stomach and lungs bled too. He was in coma for over 24 hours,” she reveals.
Thankfully, Bryle’s condition has stabilised now, and he’s slowly getting back to normal in hospital.
“So here I am raising awareness to show your children that you love them. I almost lost mine,” writes this mummy.
Thank you, Leah for sharing your experience. Indeed, we often neglect dental hygiene in little children. This story is a reminder as to what can go so terribly wrong!
We hope and pray that Bryle gets well soon…
Sepsis is a condition where an infection is spread via blood. Because of this, it spreads rapidly.
Sepsis is caused by your body’s defense system (immune system) working overtime to fight infection.
Chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.
Sepsis is also referred to as blood poisoning.
Sepsis may lead to serious complications that affect the kidneys, lungs, brain, and heart, and can even cause death. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die.
Many who do survive are left with life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain fatigue, organ dysfunction (organs don’t work properly) and/or amputations.
Sepsis can affect people of any age, but those most at risk include:
- people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, AIDS, or leukemia
- young children
- premature babies
- older adults
- people who use intravenous drugs such as heroin
- those with poor dental hygiene
- people who’ve had recent surgery or dental work
- those using a catheter
- those working in an environment with great exposure to bacteria or viruses, such as in a hospital or outdoors
Some common causes of infections that can cause sepsis include:
- abdominal infection
- an infected insect bite
- central line infection, such as from a dialysis catheter or chemotherapy catheter
- dental extractions or infected teeth
- exposure of a covered wound to bacteria during surgical recovery, or not changing a surgical bandage frequently enough
- exposure of any open wound to the environment
- infection by drug-resistant bacteria
- kidney or urinary tract infection
- skin infection
Early symptoms of sepsis should not be ignored. These include:
- fever usually higher than 101˚F (38˚C)
- low body temperature (hypothermia)
- fast heart rate
- rapid breathing, or more than 20 breaths per minute
- nausea and vomiting
Severe sepsis is defined as sepsis with evidence of organ damage that usually affects the kidneys, heart, lungs, or brain. Symptoms of severe sepsis include:
- noticeably lower amounts of urine
- acute confusion
- severe problems breathing
- bluish discoloration of the digits or lips (cyanosis)
- decrease in platelet count
People who are experiencing septic shock will experience the symptoms of severe sepsis, but they will also have very low blood pressure that doesn’t respond to fluid replacement.
A dental infection, within or below a tooth, can be caused by tooth decay or a broken tooth that causes the pulp to become infected. The pulp is the part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and large nerves.
When an infection occurs, bacteria can move out of the tooth to the bone or tissue below, forming a dental abscess. A dental infection can lead to sepsis.
Signs of an infection in the mouth include:
- Bad breath
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
- Swelling of the gum
- Swollen glands of the neck
- Swelling in the jaw
As with all infections, an infection in your mouth should be treated as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of complications, including sepsis.
*Thanks to Richelle Croley Morana for Tagalog to English translation