Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Common Blood Infections Kill Millions
AP ^ | 2-14-04

Posted on 02/15/2004 7:02:04 PM PST by nuconvert

Edited on 04/29/2004 2:03:54 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- An international group of doctors is pushing for aggressive treatment to prevent half a million deaths worldwide from a common bloodstream infection.

Sepsis kills more than 200,000 people annually in the United States alone -- more deaths than from lung and breast cancer combined. Muppets creator Jim Henson died from it 14 years ago.


(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: blood; health; healthcare; infection; sepsis

1 posted on 02/15/2004 7:02:05 PM PST by nuconvert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
...to prevent half a million deaths worldwide from a common bloodstream infection.

Sepsis is not "a" bloodstream infection. It is just a generic term to mean any infection that gets out of hand to the point that it invades the bloodstream.

2 posted on 02/15/2004 7:06:35 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
Yikes! Something else to worry about!
3 posted on 02/15/2004 7:12:32 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
I thought that Jim Henson died from Group A beta hemolytic strep that was well advanced into a necrotic pneumonia before he sought treatment.
4 posted on 02/15/2004 7:18:05 PM PST by armymarinemom (The family reunion is moving to Iran this year-Central location and a shorter trip for the kids)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: armymarinemom
I didn't think it was sepsis. But he certainly could have acquired sepsis before he died.
5 posted on 02/15/2004 7:19:42 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
I thought Jim Henson died from Lung Cancer. I'm going to look this up.
6 posted on 02/15/2004 7:22:55 PM PST by Hildy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: armymarinemom
Here it is:

Mr. Henson, creator of "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show," developed flulike symptoms in May 1990. Four days later, his condition worsened enough that he went to the hospital. He died 20 hours later, of complications of pneumonia caused by an aggressive group A streptococcal infection. Despite antibiotics, the infection caused his heart and kidneys to fail.

7 posted on 02/15/2004 7:26:14 PM PST by Hildy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: armymarinemom
I thought that Jim Henson died from Group A beta hemolytic strep that was well advanced into a necrotic pneumonia before he sought treatment.

See Post 2.

Once you have an infection necrotizing your lung, you are pretty much guaranteed to have sepsis. All "sepsis" means is that the bacteria entered the bloodstream and the blodstream became infected.

The reporter is simply taking a secondary complication of any infectious process and sensationalizing it into the Killer Disease of the Month.

8 posted on 02/15/2004 7:35:00 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Second hand smoke first. Think of the children.
9 posted on 02/15/2004 7:35:20 PM PST by Leisler (Whatever it is you're doing, it's illegal now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hildy
Thanks for looking that up.
Here's what the article says:


"Sepsis typically starts as a bacterial infection that can originate from pneumonia,..."

He could have acquired sepsis secondary to the primary infection which caused the pneumonia. It's up to the coroner to decide what killed him. You'd have to know what he wrote on the death certificate.
10 posted on 02/15/2004 7:37:42 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
Well, "disease of the month" is a little flip.
Sepsis is a serious problem and not just as a secondary infection to another disease process, but also iatrogenic induced sepsis.
11 posted on 02/15/2004 7:44:58 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
I was just about to clarify what sepsis is - but you did it, thanks.

I almost died from pneumonia-based sepsis in 1982. Thank God the fifth intravenous antibiotic "worked" and saved my life. I remember lying with my head off the bed so my lungs could drain into the bucket on the floor - the respiratory folks had given up on me, and I'd been given Last Rites.

The Doctor's insistence on giving me different and stronger doses of antibiotics is what saved my life. However, for the next 7 years, I fought a systemic yeast infection that could have been prevented with a prophilactic course of nystatin, or that strange milk, Acidolphilus (sp?), even yogurt.

I also have a friend who makes me crazy over antibiotics. This person recently had an bad cold on the day of a Doctor's appointment and told me they were going to get something for it. I got on my soapbox about the stupidity of requesting an antibiotic for a damn cold. If they had a sinus infection or earaches, or some ancillary infection, then maybe "yes" on the antibiotics. But not to ask for an antibiotic because they had a cold, for cripes sake.

I've watched this same person get 5 different, and the most recently released, antibiotics, in a year, for whatever they show up in the Doctor's office complaining about.

I don't know who I'm angrier at - the former friend for perpetually requesting the antibiotics, or the dang Doctor for giving them!?! I guess the answer is, both of them.
12 posted on 02/15/2004 7:46:49 PM PST by TruthNtegrity (I refuse to call candidates for President "Democratic" as they are NOT. Socialists, actually.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
That was my point. It was an aggressive strain of group A well advanced. Not just the resulting sepsis. A large issue was also made about Mr. Henson when the press was talking about flesh eating bacteria. Both are true but no a big surprise especially if you have seen how destructive an aggressive case of group A can be. It was a rare aggressive infection. Not new news but just a spin.
13 posted on 02/15/2004 7:59:26 PM PST by armymarinemom (The family reunion is moving to Iran this year-Central location and a shorter trip for the kids)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Well, "disease of the month" is a little flip. Sepsis is a serious problem and not just as a secondary infection to another disease process, but also iatrogenic induced sepsis.

I did not say "secondary infection".

I said "secondary complication".

By definition, an "iatrogenic induced sepsis" is a complication of whatever intervention (central line, Foley catheter, wound contamination, etc.) gave rise to the sepsis.

Sepsis is not a primary disease that you simply "catch" out of the clear blue sky.

For example, Stonewall Jackson was shot in the arm. The arm had to be amputated. He then developed pneumonia, possibly from aspiration during surgery. He then developed sepsis and died.

Stonewall Jackson did not die because he "caught" sepsis. He died because he "caught" a .577 caliber Enfield round to his arm.

Anything that can get bacteria into the bloodstream from a gunshot wound, to pneumonia, to childbirth, to a central venous line inserted during hospitalization to cutting your hand while gardening can cause sepsis.

The author refers to sepsis as "a common bloodstream infection" as if it were a unique infectious disease such as AIDS or TB.

The lay reader is left to wonder and fear if he might "catch" sepsis if he goes to visit Aunt Martha at the hospital.

14 posted on 02/15/2004 8:34:47 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity
I've watched this same person get 5 different, and the most recently released, antibiotics, in a year, for whatever they show up in the Doctor's office complaining about. I don't know who I'm angrier at - the former friend for perpetually requesting the antibiotics, or the dang Doctor for giving them!?! I guess the answer is, both of them.

That is indeed a big problem.

Such people are developing future bioweapons in their own bodies that can be unleashed on society. The doctors that enable such behavior may as well be working at a WMD lab.

15 posted on 02/15/2004 8:44:00 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
Thanks.
I'm not a lay reader.
I know what iatrogenic means.

16 posted on 02/15/2004 8:46:42 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Thanks. I'm not a lay reader. I know what iatrogenic means.

But other readers in this forum are lay readers.

My point is that the author has sensetionalized "sepsis" in such a way that the lay reader is left to fear sepsis as an infectious disease that can be "caught".

"Let's go visit Aunt Martha at the hospital."

"Are you crazy? The doctor says she has sepsis. We might catch it!"

17 posted on 02/15/2004 8:56:05 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
I don't think it's sensationalized. But a story has to get people's attention in order to be read.
I think most people know someone who has recovered from or died after developing sepsis.
18 posted on 02/15/2004 9:08:08 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert

I have a friend who just had a quadruple by-pass last Thursday at The Texas Heart Institute in Houston. He was infused with Vancomycin 2 hours before surgery. The man sharing the prep room with my friend was also infused before his surgery. It must now be a common precaution.
19 posted on 02/15/2004 9:28:01 PM PST by top of the world ma
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert; Polybius; TruthNtegrity
I agree that it is not being over-sensationalized Nuconvert. This is one of the stealth threats out there ....overuse of antibiotics leading to increased immunity for the pathogens. I remember reading this article (i believe it was in the Lanclet) that said that in hospitals the pathogens that dwell there are immune to all but one particular drug, which is supposed to be this super-strong drug that is rarely used. And the article was saying that due to people using antibiotics for even the slightest sniffle there is the chance that in the near future bacteria that have always been non-fatal since the start of modern medicine will start killing people like crazy.

In the civil war most victims of gunshots who survived the original injury died later of infection. With the advent of modern drugs bacterial pathogens have largely taken a back seat to viral infections, leading most of the population to think bacteria to be 'lesser powers' compared to virii. Who knows ...they might even think Anthrax is a virus and not a bacteria. However even your average pathogenic bacteria under the right circumstance can prove deadly (i know most bacteria are benign, and many actually helpful, but some are rabid killers). If they were to become super-virulent and resistant to antibiotics then we might be facing something bad.

20 posted on 02/15/2004 9:35:32 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear missiles: The ultimate Phallic symbol.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
At a company I worked at once there was a manager whom everyone liked. His daughter worked there too. He was probably in his forties and seemed healthy if somewhat overweight. One Monday we heard the shocking news that he had suddenly died over the weekend ... of a blood infection. Many people in the company went to his funeral.
21 posted on 02/15/2004 10:01:08 PM PST by wideminded
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideminded
The "bugs" are getting stronger. The meds are having a hard time keeping up.
22 posted on 02/15/2004 10:11:27 PM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity
Part of the problem is antibiotic overuse that has created drug-resistant germs.

My husband is a physician. He tells me about mothers bringing in their children with nothing more than a cold, and demanding antibiotics. He won't prescribe them for a cold, explaining to the mothers that an antibiotic is ineffective on a viral infection. No matter. They demand antibiotics. He won't prescribe them, they threaten to go somewhere else, he tells them that that is their right.

I get sinus infections periodically, but try not to go on antibiotics unless I really need to. I've kicked 2 out of the last three infections just using a salt water rinse and flonase. If I'm on antibiotics, I try to eat yogurt with active cultures daily.

23 posted on 02/15/2004 10:22:09 PM PST by .38sw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Mis-read the headline. At first, it looked like, "Common Blood Infections Kill Muslims."
24 posted on 02/15/2004 10:44:51 PM PST by Salvey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
My mother died from sesis. She was diagnois two weeks before that with ALS,she went in to the hospital came home and developed sesis and died.
25 posted on 02/15/2004 11:32:05 PM PST by patriciamary
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: .38sw
I hate taking meds, I have enough to take with Synthroid and Sodium Dilantin and others without taking anything else other than a baby aspirin.

Medications, while helpful under certain circumstances seem to have taken on a faddish life. During the Flu season you hear people comparing which med they are taking and how strong or how expensive it is.

If people had to rely on daily meds to help them lead a fairly normal life, that they would demand these drugs. I have a brother who is diabetic and also a transplant recipiant - you wouldn't believe the number of drugs he has to take - plus his insulin.

Oh phooey, to tired to really get going on my soap box about this...
26 posted on 02/15/2004 11:43:08 PM PST by dixie sass (Signed - Sealed - CPAC'd and Delivered)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: MedicalMess
I created a weaponized version of Clostridium difficile.

For what purpose?

28 posted on 02/16/2004 2:29:12 AM PST by Glenn (What were you thinking, Al?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
The author refers to sepsis as "a common bloodstream infection" as if it were a unique infectious disease such as AIDS or TB. The lay reader is left to wonder and fear if he might "catch" sepsis if he goes to visit Aunt Martha at the hospital.

I have statistics on sepsis and there are a few things that cause it. The problem is that they don't have a protocol for treating sepsis because no one in the government has given them an approved formula that will protect them from being sued by lawyers. The proper formula for sepsis is a no-brainer since the situation is immediately life threatening (vancomycin and diflucan). 30% of all bodies in hospital morgues are from sepsis.

29 posted on 02/16/2004 2:36:08 AM PST by MedicalMess
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Glenn
I created a weaponized version of Clostridium difficile.

For what purpose?

It was accidental. I through about 30 antibiotics at multiple autoimmune disorders I had created on two initial antibiotics. I was trying to but it back down since I knew the autoimmune disorders were fraud and it was a bacterium that got out hand. I didn't know what bacteria it was so I had to fish around for two and a half years before a pattern of reversals arose so I realized it was Clostridium difficile of an extraintestinal manifestation. That's how I knew what to go looking for to find the core disease causing many autoimmune disorders. See my research. Search "chronic illness" and destroying political parties on this site. If you were to catch my strain of CD it would take off rather quickly if you needed to treat something else with antibiotics. I am resistant to ALL major classes of antibiotics, 3 to 5 antibiotics in each class.

30 posted on 02/16/2004 2:49:16 AM PST by MedicalMess
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: MedicalMess
Correction: I was trying to but down = I was trying to put down
31 posted on 02/16/2004 3:00:31 AM PST by MedicalMess
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Part of the problem is antibiotic overuse that has created drug-resistant germs.

Aggressive treatment should begin in the emergency room and include immediate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics rather than waiting a few days for test results to identify the specific germ

Antibiotic "overuse" has not "created" drug-resistant germs, but only revealed them by killing off the others. There have been drug-resistant strains around since before the beginning of our use of antibiotics.

Regarding the evolution of resistant strains AND the immediate harm done by any strain, antibiotic UNDERUSE is a bigger problem, by several orders of magnitude.

The fact that the two sentences I clipped in italics above can exist comfortably in the same article demonstrates the irrational thinking that has grown up around this problem.

32 posted on 02/16/2004 3:03:15 AM PST by Yeti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
He died from Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal sepsis, in about six hours.
33 posted on 02/16/2004 3:05:27 AM PST by Jim Noble (Now you go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Polybius
The reporter is simply taking a secondary complication of any infectious process and sensationalizing it into the Killer Disease of the Month.

Actually, the reporter is taking a press release from the manufacturer of activated Protein C (Xigris), and running it as a news story because she is too lazy to research the topic.

34 posted on 02/16/2004 3:09:01 AM PST by Jim Noble (Now you go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Glenn
I created a weaponized version of Clostridium difficile.

For what purpose?

It's not like I did anything illegal. It was a medical experiment and I was the guinea pig. I just possess the worst case scenario of Clostridium difficile. Medical personnel infect 50% of newborns in the first 48 hours and most of them are resistant.

But mine is really, really, seriously resistant.

We had to pull my wife off of antibiotics because she started to get peripheral neuropathy within just a few days because I had passed my resistance to her. If someone were to catch my bug and take antibiotics they would never know what hit them without my expertise. Apart from pseudo membranous colitis all the other manifestations are classified as autoimmune disorders with no remedy. What a horrible con job the medical establishment has done on the American public. These disorders can be put down without antibiotics.

Just click on my post name to read about me and the experiment. It is one of the boldest revolutionary experiments ever performed.

35 posted on 02/16/2004 3:17:51 AM PST by MedicalMess
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Yeti
Antibiotic "overuse" has not "created" drug-resistant germs, but only revealed them by killing off the others. There have been drug-resistant strains around since before the beginning of our use of antibiotics.

Absolutely, totally false!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've got papers on creating resistant Clostridium difficile by growing it in culture medium with ampicillin, erythromycin, rifampin and other antibiotics. Some antibiotics not only create a resistant strain in culture, but, the antibiotic also causes "sporation". The antibiotic becomes a food resource in a pure culture!

What you said is what I used to think. This CD turned on me with TMP/SMX, a sulfur drug. I found out later that CD eats sulfur. This bug found a way to crack the molecule that was killing it and turned it into a super food resource. No joke......

36 posted on 02/16/2004 3:30:16 AM PST by MedicalMess
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity
I hear you.....I know people that simply have to call the doc and get an antibiotic ordered over the phone...it's not coincidental that most of these folks have Medicare with an excellant suppliment so there is no cost to them....
37 posted on 02/16/2004 5:16:36 AM PST by cherry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
That sounds definitive. I'll buy it.
Thanks.
38 posted on 02/16/2004 6:34:23 AM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: .38sw
Nice to hear your husband "sticks to his guns" .
Wish all physicians would.
39 posted on 02/16/2004 6:43:05 AM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Salvey
They're not immune.
40 posted on 02/16/2004 6:43:49 AM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
"Actually, the reporter is taking a press release from the manufacturer of activated Protein C (Xigris)..."

Really? That's interesting.
41 posted on 02/16/2004 6:47:51 AM PST by nuconvert ("Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: patriciamary
My mother died from sesis. She was diagnois two weeks before that with ALS,she went in to the hospital came home and developed sesis and died.

The muscular weakness from ALS leads to difficulty in swallowing which can lead to aspiration ("things going down the wrong way"). The weakness also intereferes with the forceful coughing that is Nature's way clearing things out of the lungs and the weakness of respiratory muscles can also require ventilator support with the resulting foreign object down the trachea.

As a result, ALS patients are very susceptible to pneumonia.

Once you have a pneumonia, if it gets far advanced, the infection can get into the bloodstream (sepsis) and become even more deadly than an isolated pneumonia.

So, in an ALS patient, sepsis is often a complication of a complication of ALS.

It is not my point to say that sepsis is not a serious problem.

By definition, once an infection has progessed to the sepsis stage, it has become a body-wide infection rather than a localized infection. With antibiotic abuse, all infections, especially hospital acquired infections, can potentially be extremely serious and/or fatal.

My point is to clarify the impression that the author may have left that sepsis is some Killer Disease of the Month such as SARS or Avian flu or Ebola haemorrhagic fever that a healthy person can simply "catch" by being at the wrong place at the wrong time or that Osama bin Laden can mail to you via a white powder in an envelope.

We have enough things to be paranoid about already.

42 posted on 02/16/2004 7:39:52 AM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: MedicalMess
I've got papers on creating resistant Clostridium difficile by growing it in culture medium with ampicillin, erythromycin, rifampin and other antibiotics.

And I've got one about switching e. coli back and forth between penicillin and tetracycline resistant strains. How typical is that, though? And, in the case you described, you achieved this by LIGHT doping of the medium, didn't you? In other words, you achieved this effect by UNDER-medicating.

How about this? If subjecting the pathogen to a stressor generates resistance, then by failing to treat quickly with antibiotics, don't we *generate* resistance to the human immune system, by prolonging the germs' exposure to it?

A child is before you with strep throat(Scarlet Fever). Will you withold antibiotics? Well, the side effects from untreated strep can be pretty bad. Brain damage. Permanent thinning of the walls of the heart. Other bad things. Not to mention death. Compare the consequences and odds of some or all of those effects, with the consequences of finding a resistant strain, and the odds of this child's infection being resistant. Would you withhold antibiotics, AND charge her family for your services?

Now, suppose a child is before you with ambiguous symptoms: you aren't sure if she has a flu or some strep strain, and you are out of strep tests. If you give her amoxycillin(or whatever appropriate antibiotic is in rotation at the time) and she doesn't have strep, then all you risk is side effects from the amoxycillin(suppose you know she has no allergies). Since she has no strep pathogens in her body, the amoxycillin can't act on them to induce mutation. If she does have strep, then you medicated it correctly. Now, if you *refuse* antibiotics, then in the influenza case you have done no good, except maybe reduced the small risk of side-effects. But in the strep case, you have let a child's body be ravaged by bacteria! NO_HARM and GOOD for administration of antibiotics vs NO_GOOD and HARM for witholding.

Compare the odds and the consequences, and even if your(commonly held) hypothesis(which in my opinion is actually based on magical thinking), you are obliged to give the antibiotics. I know there are more complex situations and all that, but, in general, I think you are obliged to medicate the child, unless you can actually draw up the relevant formulae for that case, plug in the numbers and calculate a risk/benefit quotient that you KNOW is meaningful and accurate, and the numbers say "withold the medicine."

The null hypothesis must be "one should medicate the child," and to reject that you must be VERY confident.

43 posted on 02/16/2004 7:28:23 PM PST by Yeti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson