A Lancashire dad named Stu Bonsall has hit the headlines – after revealing he took his baby daughter Megan to A&E just because she was crying differently to normal.
And his instinct that something wasn’t right was dead on: upon arriving at hospital, Megan was diagnosed with sepsis, sent to intensive care, and put into an induced coma for 3 days while she was given intravenous antibiotics.
Thankfully, baby Megan's now fully recovered – and Stu's urging other parents to trust their gut when it comes to their little one, as it might just save their life.
And as a result, he’s also highlighted one of the less well-known symptoms of sepsis in babies…
Stu’s story – what happened
Baby Megan was just 4 weeks old when her mum, Tracy, noticed her cry sounded more like a wail, and definitely nothing like her usual cry.
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She’d been like that for a few hours when she told dad Stu, who made the decision to drive Megan to a hospital 4 miles away to be checked out.
Megan was quickly transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered she had sepsis – an illness where bacteria get into your bloodstream and your body overreacts to the infection and starts attacking itself.
Untreated, it can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and can even be fatal.
Fortunately, Megan’s case was spotted early enough to treat, and after a week’s worth of treatment with antibiotic drugs, given while she was in an induced coma, little Megan was sent home healthy.
She’s now a thriving 1-year-old, says her dad, who confesses to the Press Association that he initially felt a bit "barmy" for taking his daughter into A&E just because her crying was different.
"I know all babies cry," he said. "I’m not stupid… but I sensed something was different. I wanted a doctor to check her over.
“I would rather look an idiot and know my daughter is OK."
He added: "I’d tell all parents to go to the doctor if they are worried.
"I could so easily have done nothing, fearing I’d be told I was over-reacting. But my actions saved Megan’s life. I will never regret that."
Is unusual crying a sign of sepsis in babies?
Stu’s message to trust your instincts when it comes to your child is right on in our opinion.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to go with your gut, and you should always speak to a medical professional if you’ve got concerns about your little one’s health.
But there’s more to Stu's story than that: one of the symptoms of sepsis in babies is actually a 'weak, whining or continuous crying', according to the NHS website.
You could also describe the cry as a ‘wail’ or crying that’s not typical for your child – any sort of cry you’ve never heard before.
Always remember: YOU are the expert in what’s normal for them and what’s not.
Among other sepsis symptoms in babies are going ‘floppy’, seeming ‘just not right’, vomiting for more than 24 hours straight, fast breathing, cold, clammy, pale, blue or mottled skin, and not wanting to feed/take fluids.
Because sepsis is notoriously hard to diagnose in small children – and there are so many signs to look out for – we do have a full list of red flag sepsis symptoms here that’s worth being aware of.
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Images: Press Association
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