HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It may not be a well-known condition, but it can still be deadly. Sepsis "occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body", according to the Mayo Clinic. If left untreated, it can lead to multiple organ failure and ultimately death.
Doctor Scott Harvey, an obstetrician and gynecologist as well as an Assistant Professor at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine appeared on Sunrise to talk about the dangers of sepsis. He said it's hard to diagnose and patients rarely realize they have it. Symptoms can include a fever, an elevated heart beat and a high respiratory rate. He pointed out that patients need to be more aware of the dangers in order to avoid sepsis or get it treated.
Becky Gardner, a volunteer with the Patty Rohlfing Memorial Committee, has experienced a personal loss because of sepsis. Her friend, HPD officer Jacob Reed, who was suffering from pneumonia and bronchitis ended up dying from sepsis at the age of 36. Patty Rohlfing, the wife of former state senator Fred Rohlfing, went to the ER on Christmas Day and was sent home. Two days later, she died from sepsis. That's why state lawmakers have established September as sepsis awareness month.
Finally, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii is sponsoring a conference on Sepsis Awareness on Sepsis Awareness Day, Sept. 13 at the Queens Conference Center from 9 am - noon. HAH members are invited and so is the public on a space available basis.