When bacterial infections can be life-threatening and how to protect yourself

On Monday, 11 September I watched Panorama. It was absolutely fascinating and about bacterial infections. Did you watch it? If not, I advise that you do on ‘catch-up, and learn more about the sometimes devastating bacterial infection septicaemia, also termed sepsis or blood-poisoning. I have to say that anything to do with bacteria fascinates me, the good, the bad and the downright ugly, and when it comes to sepsis, it can’t get much uglier.

Whilst watching the programme my ears pricked up when one of the hospital consultants mentioned that UTIs in older women can also develop into a life-threatening sepsis infection. Tragic when you consider that many UTIs can be successfully resolved naturally with taking the correct species of live bacteria probiotics orally such as lactobacilli reuteri, found in my For Women live bacteria capsules. Don’t just take my word for it though, read what Ruth had to say about my Women’s Health Duo, that contains a pot of For Women probiotic capsules and a pot of high-strength Garlic tablets:

“My Women’s Health Duo just arrived in the post. Excellent service from an excellent company. These two products have made such a difference in my life (For Women probiotic capsules & Garlic tablets). Not more painful UTIs anymore.”

I am probably more interested in sepsis than most people, and that’s not just because I have developed a range of supplements including live bacteria probiotics, but because several years ago I lost a family friend to sepsis. My friend was having a routine colonoscopy procedure to check her diverticula pocketing when, unfortunately, the scope (camera) punctured one of the ‘pockets’ and she developed sepsis. The endoscopist hadn’t realised this at the time of the procedure, my friend was sent home, and a few days later became ill with a high temperature and pain in her left hip. She died a few days later of sepsis. One wonders if she had been given prophylactic antibiotics following the colonoscopy, would they have saved her, but then we have the issue of the NHS not wanting to prescribe too many antibiotics to people due to antibiotic resistance. Not easy decisions to make.

The Panorama programme had the title ‘Why Mum died? The sepsis crisis.’ An investigative reporter lost his Mum to sepsis a couple of years ago and was trying to get to the bottom of why she died when sepsis, if caught early enough with antibiotics, is treatable, at least in most cases. What he learned was very upsetting for him and his family. His mother was mis-diagnosed initially, and if she had received antibiotics earlier she would most probably have survived. However, it’s not easy for a health service stretched beyond its limits to catch sepsis in time. 

In the programme we learned that sepsis kills more people every year than breast, bowel and prostate cancer put together, but gets very little recognition. Things are now improving though with greater awareness, both in hospitals and the community. However, it is important to be aware of signs and symptoms of sepsis such as:

  • High temperature above 101F or a temperature below 96.8F
  • A heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute
  • Breathing rate higher than 20 breaths per minute
  • Probable or confirmed infection

For more information on sepsis click here: