Caitlin Alsop is a passionate advocate for sepsis awareness who’s my encounter with sepsis “was a medical mystery” like many others who have suffered sepsis, it can be an elusive disease with devastating consequences. Caitlin had seen multiple GP’s about cold symptoms and a rash that then appeared on her face and that evening she felt like she had bitten her tongue. It became swollen making it harder to breathe and difficult to swallow. At the hospital, she was treated for anaphylaxis, but her condition deteriorated with a mottled blue and red rash spread across the top half of her body. Caitlin was admitted to ICU for full life support where she stayed in a coma for nine days. The diagnosis was Ludwig’s angina, from an unknown impacted wisdom tooth, leading to sepsis. The rash burnt the top half of her body and blackened her tongue with talks of amputation. Following surgery, drainage and an extended stay in ICU and hospital, Caitlin is incredibly grateful to be alive and determined to make a difference. Caitlin shares her story all over the world, participate in and host charity events for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation and work with medical professionals to improve the coordination of care for patients who have experienced critical illness. She has collaborated on awareness activities with the Global Sepsis Alliance World Sepsis Day, US Sepsis Alliance and Australian Sepsis Network Consumer Advocacy Group. Through sharing her story, Caitlin hopes to help survivors with their own recovery and scars after critical illness and return to a meaningful high quality of life.
CME Faculty Disclosure: It is the policy of EB Medicine to ensure objectivity, balance, independence, transparency, and scientific rigor in all CME-sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in the planning or implementation of a sponsored activity are expected to disclose to the audience any relevant financial relationships and to assist in resolving any conflict of interest that may arise from the relationship. In compliance with all ACCME Essentials, Standards, and Guidelines, all faculty for this CME activity were asked to complete a full disclosure statement. The speaker did not report any relevant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in this educational presentation.
Caitlin will tell her story of life-threatening sepsis that was triggered by an infected wisdom tooth, the diagnostic challenges, her road to recovery and insights into what’s needed to improve awareness, recognition and support for sepsis survivors.
By the end of this lecture the attendee will be able to:
- describe the various ways sepsis can be triggered - including dental
- recognise how quickly sepsis can progress from the initial infection based on my personal story
- appreciate the importance of awareness & acting quickly - ‘Just ask could it be SEPSIS’?