Friday, February 4, 2011

Cold Sepsis

Leave it to Averi to teach us about another rare medical condition.

Last night, before I went to sleep, the nurse informed me that she was having a really hard time getting Averi's temperature.  I figured it was just because she wasn't putting the tempa-dot in the right place or leaving it there long enough, and went to sleep thinking the digital thermometer she was holding would do the trick.

Thirty minutes later, she woke me up to tell me that Averi's temperature was 93.something and that she was going to draw blood cultures and start antibiotics.  I must be dreaming, what!?

Apparently if sepsis occurs in an immunodeficient patient it can, but very rarely and usually in newborns, cause the body to have a very low temperature.  The high fever is evidence of the body trying to fight off the infection and a body with no ability to fight does the opposite.  Doesn't really make sense, I know.

Her blood pressure was fine but her legs and arms did feel cool to the touch.  I started getting nervous when she woke up coughing and fussy because RSV is making it's rounds.  Being Averi, however, she woke up happy as can be with a normal temperature - which is 96.8 for her.

Her fellow came by again this afternoon to let me know that Averi will not be going home today, which was funny because we both already knew that we have to wait for the 48 hour results of her blood cultures.

Averi's skin is a little more mottled than usual, she seems tired, and her blood pressure is just a little lower than it usually is.  It might be nothing, which is exactly what I think it is, but it's enough to get the attention of her doctors and keep them on their toes.  (I'm not gunna lie - sometimes I like to seem them squirm a little.)


Runningmama said...

Hoping she feels better soon! Emily had the same weird sort of thing happen to her...her fingers and feet turned blue before she ran a fever, it was almost as if her body cooled down instead of heating up at first, her ANC was about 20 at the time so I guess she didn't have any white cells to fight whatever was brewing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why you think it's "nothing". It's something. That's serious. It may seem like nothing because the nurse caught it early and starting her on antibiotics immediately, so she's doing better. The blood cultures won't prove no infection if it's negative, it just means they didn't "catch" the bacteria in that blood draw. Low temperature + mottled skin in an infant, especially one with down's, means sepsis. A 93 temp isn't normal.