Sepsis Blog
Dear Doctor, Please Give My Child Antibiotics

Dear Doctor,

Please give my child antibiotics.

No, I don’t mean give my child antibiotics every time we visit. Please give my child antibiotics when you see something different in what may appear to be ordinary. Please give my child antibiotics when you know the symptoms of sepsis and you’re thinking, maybe? Just do the blood cultures and give my child drugs so they will remain alive!

All this talk of antibiotic stewardship makes me nervous. It sounds so formal and so far removed from the reality that we experienced with our son Rory. Our reality was that of a child telling doctors over and over that he was in pain, and that HE didn’t think it was the flu because his leg hurt and his skin was mottled, and he never felt so bad.  This is the reality of many parents we hear from and in the next few weeks we will begin to share some of their stories with you.

Antibiotic stewardship is about encouraging hospitals in particular, to improve their practices to ensure that the threat of antibiotic resistance and untreated infections is dealt with in an increasingly urgent manner. I understand.  There are terrible complications from overuse and not using the right antibiotic sometimes even death.

But, there are terrible consequences from not using antibiotics when a doctor suspects sepsis.

Dr. Tom Frieden , Director of C.D.C  said: “Antibiotics are nothing short of miracle drugs. Prompt treatment of infections that lead to sepsis saves lives every day in U.S. Hospitals. And it’s important that antibiotics are used promptly whenever needed.” He further says “if you look at the very strong sepsis protocols out of New York State, they have in their protocol get the diagnostic workup promptly, start treatment promptly, and have a systematic reevaluation. “

The sooner antibiotic treatment begins for sepsis patients, the better the chances of survival. The mortality rate from sepsis increases by 7 percent for every hour that antibiotic treatment is delayed; this is a hugely worrisome number. Antibiotic stewardship means remembering sepsis patients.

So doctor, once again, please give my child antibiotics.