16-year-old Jesus Aguina-Gonzalez of San Jose was brought to Regional Medical Center complaining of severe headaches, chills and leg weakness. What bacteria scientist say is common in our nose and throat turned into deadly toxins for this sixteen year old student.
The staff at Regional Medical Center thought there was nothing from with Jesus. They had performed blood tests, urine test, feces tests and spinal fluid test. The result was showed nothing was wrong with him. Relatives listened to the doctors and began to take him home to get some rest when they noticed that Jesus could not walk on his own.
“It’s every pediatrician’s nightmare,” said Dr. Peggy Weintrub, a pediatric infectious disease expert with the University of California-San Francisco, in an interview with The San Jose Mercury News. Experts also say that the toxins produced by the bacteria can be misdiagnosed as a common flu.
The time frame for diagnosing and treating this infection is extremely rapid. Dr. Matthew Thompson of the University of Oxford, published in January 2006 in the British medical journal Lancet stating that within the first 4-6 hours, people show the signs of flu. Leg pain, cold hands and feet, and abnormal skin color show within eight hours. A bruising pattern to the skin and loss consciousness can happen around thirteen hours of infection.
16-year old Jesus is not the only case of sepsis reported in the United States. In September, a University of Colorado Sophomore became ill with a meningococcal bacterial infection.
Doctors say that the only ways to tell if the bacteria are present is either by growing them in a culture dish, obtaining blood tests or inspecting spinal fluid. The only problem is that the time it takes to grow the culture may be too late for the patient. Blood tests can alert hospital staff of infection but does not pinpoint exactly what is going on in the body. Spinal Taps will help find the bacteria if it has entered the spinal fluids – but if this result is negative, then the Spinal Tap is useless.
There is a treatment for sepsis, even if caught in the latter stages of infection. In 2006, Eli Lilly created a new drug called Xigris. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year had approved Xigris for adults. Doctors did not comment if Xigris was administered to Jesus due to patient confidentiality laws.
Even when caught late, some patients with very advanced cases of sepsis have survived with the administration of the new drug Xigris, made by Eli Lilly and approved for adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year
State health officials launched an investigation today into the handling of a San Jose teen that died at The Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Doctors who treated Jesus at The Regional Medical Center did not comment. Regional Medical Center CEO William Gilbert said that hospital physicians are conducting an internal investigation into the case.