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In his spare time, when he feels up to it, Ronnie Roberts walks through hospital parking lots slipping informational flyers onto every windshield.

Roberts wants people to know the signs of sepsis, the body’s overwhelming response to a blood infection, which can lead to organ failure and even death. If he had known the signs and insisted that his fiancee was treated appropriately, he believes she’d still be alive.


Sepsis kills over 250,000 people a year in the United States — more than any cause other than cancer and heart disease. But still, many people have never heard of it. And hospitals often fail to notice the warning signs when a patient is spiraling downward.

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  • If we went to sleep for 50 years and woke-up, we will probably find that nothing would have changed re hospital patient care.

    This despite the plethora of QC/CQI monthly meetings with the same monotonous agendas, far too numerous credentials displayed in offices; and sadly, pretty much the ability to identify and prepare for when external agencies licensure inspections are to be held.

    Is this due to the lower quality of employees since the 1970s, or the diminished quality of clinical and administrative leadership; or, both in America?

    • god, you are so right.
      We have gone backward re med care. I think 2 out of 3 appointments are unnecessary if a competent person did their job from visit 1. If they just believed what we said and used their brains to think of possibilities – well, guess what? We would be healthier (even alive!) but they would not have as much money. You have to ask, what is in it for them not to believe what we report.
      The woman above did not need to die if she had been seen by someone with a clue. I am betting she was processed by PAs and NPs too. It is all a factory process for greater profit.
      The medical profession is a very sick profession now. Sick.

  • The number of Sepsis cases in the United States each year is unacceptable; I agree with this man and applaud his actions and understand his frustration. But the aggregate number of people who die of Medical Errors of all kinds far exceed those that die of Sepsis. My wife died, technically, of Sepsis. But what she actually died from was negligent and unprofessional care that she received from her physician and the hospital she was in. The reason she go Sepsis was because a large group of nurse’s ganged up on her and abrogated her legal rights by forcing a catheter up her, violently. Over and over. I know; I was standing there watching it, my mouth gaping wide at the sight of it. She screamed at them to stop. She told them she knew her legal rights and she wanted the to cease and desist. She had a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and knew what was legal and what wasn’t. Still, they persisted. Then when she became weak and confused a couple of weeks later, she was readmitted to the same hospital, Palmetto Richland in Columbia, South Carolina, and they never even performed a urinalysis on her. We took her to Duke University hospital by ambulance, where they found the infection within an hour of arrival.

    Sepsis is deadly, but one has to contract it in some way. If I were this man, I would be concentrating on WHY she had Sepsis. If you are reading this, sir, contact me through the email address above, or: [email protected] . I will help you find out why she got Sepsis in the first place and if someone or some entity is culpable.

  • There are more than 1,000,000 cases of sepsis each year, according to the CDC. There are Blood Culture Profile (Aerobic and Anaerobic) test done through Quest Diagnostics to check for bacteria. The challenge cost, justification through insurance payers. Its important to note that
    New Century Labs, powered by Quest Diagnostics is one of the only direct-to-consumer blood test service providers who actually offer this test. Their website does not have it listed but I did have to call the to order it over the phone. I believe this was test code 4354– The earlier you seek treatment, the greater your chances of survival.

    • Yes, sepsis as a crisis under our nose and CDC ignores and lags, as usual.

      Frankly, do you want the CDC meddling in sepsis when we’ve got the biggest ongoing crisis imaginable? The PAIN CRISIS. There is no ” opiate crisis.” There is an illicit drug crisis, # 1 culprit is fentanyl, # 2 culprit is heroin. Then, there’s meth, coke, black drug, gray death and mercy knows ehat else…Addicts, illicits, the “Substance Use Disordered” multiple substance abuses…the addicted to all mentioned caused the PAIN crisis…

      The opiate maintained Chronic pain community has been left to suffer in agony. CDC could not care less. DEA storms into pain practices as clueless, on witch hunt missions.

      O’ please. The CDC is the LAST I want around with their insanity, can’t even get pain research algorithms correct, nor can the fda… Personally, we chronic pain patients suffering like hell thanks to the CDC ( where the culprit circus began) don’t need any more of the CDC’s so called help. Enough Homer Simpson’s have been and continue to be involved in the pain arena. I, for 1 am done with suffering barbarically. Done. No more ” help” needed with the likes of the CDC. FDA, and the AMA who bailed any/all support for pain practitioners, patients in chronic, intractable pain…and didn’t even support their M.D. constituents…Then, there’s the DEA and their witch hunts…and, spare me the POTUS appointed ” opiate crisis” Committee, spare me the Chris Christie ignorance and stupidity, the politicians, the bigots, the AG who told the world a few months ago “Chronic pain pts could just take a couple Bufferin, go to bed and toughen their skin.” Enough BS. Enough.

    • I agree with you, and many others on this thread; but this issue is being fractured and factionalized by all these disparate issues and claims. Focus on the WHY. WHY did the person get Sepsis in the first place. It is almost always due to some form of Medical Error or Negligence. Hospitals are dirty places and there is little attempt to change that in any meaningful way. Medicare has financially punished 769 hospitals for the 2017 year for high infection and Error rates. Palmetto Richland and Palmetto Baptist Hospitals, in Columbia, South Carolina have now been financially punished by Medicare for three consecutive years. That is a prima facie evidence of Negligence. It indicates that the Administration of the Hospital know that there is a problem with infections and Medical Errors and simply chooses not to do anything to ameliorate that problem. That is a criminal offense, in case they are interested. Again, please look for the WHY. If someone gets Sepsis, or believes that there has been a Medical Error in their case or in the case of someone they love, please contact me at: [email protected] . I am not an attorney; I would be happy to help them get to the bottom of what happened, though.

  • There seems to be progress being made, but when the Hospital denies the patient life saving antibiotics, fluids and oxygen and only offers a Morphine drip, it’s time to hold these Hospitals accountable for the deaths they’re causing.

  • Counting the number of Sepsis Cases would be a start. That might be unprofitable for the healthcare Industry. Healthcare workers have no incentive to recognize Sepsis, in fact they could be silenced for reporting it. As long as their is a profit motive in avoiding documenting or treating Sepsis, there will be more deaths. Hospitals found that obfuscating the issue, and avoiding a diagnosis is just good business, many of the cases are deniable anyway.

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