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Dr. Max Gomez: Fast Acting Hospital Saves 8-Year-Old From Sepsis

Sean Hatzfeld's Family Feared The Worst

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Sepsis, once known as blood poisoning, is an infection that spreads through the body and lead to massive inflammation, organ failure, and death, sometimes within hours.

For one boy who was suffering from sepsis the quick action by a local hospital turned out to be life saving.

Six months ago Sean Hatzfeld, 8, was near death.

“He started vomiting, his fevers went even higher, a rapid heartbeat pulsing out of his neck,” Sean’s mother Patricia told CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez.

The Hatzfeld’s were afraid that Sean wouldn’t make it.

“We’re in the emergency room and then we’re in the ambulance going to another hospital and next thing you know they’re sitting us down. You need to be prepared for the worst,” his father Chris recalled.

First cellulitis of the tissues around the eye set in. Doctors believe that the infection came from Sean’s sinuses. The cellulitis led to shock along with lung and kidney failure. Sean spent two weeks in the hospital, but he doesn’t remember much.

“I remember waking up in the morning and looking at my eye in the mirror, like oh my god. I also remember the IVs that I had in me and when I ripped them out,” he said.

Doctors and nurses at Winthrop University Hospital followed the sepsis protocol written, in part, by Dr. Lyn Quintos and were able to save Sean’s life.

“Early institution of antibiotic therapy saves lives. Every hour delay has been shown to increase mortality rate by around 7-percent in severe sepsis,” Dr. Quintos explained.

Today, Sean is back to normal and was able to take part in a charity golf outing to benefit the hospital that saved his life.

The benefit raised $25,000 for Winthrop to use to educate parents and pediatricians about the early signs of sepsis.

Experts said that anything in your child that looks different from previous colds or flu cases should be treated by a hospital or doctor immediately.

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