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Perth mother’s urgent warning after her son, 7, suddenly fell sick with sepsis

Urgent warning from mother after son, 7, fell suddenly ill and MISSED two doctors to diagnose illness as one of world’s deadliest infections

  • Claire O’Dowd, from Perth, revealed how son Liam was stricken with sepsis
  • The seven-year-old had a high fever and his body was covered with a rash
  • Two doctors missed his condition, before another realized something was wrong
  • Fortunately, Liam’s septic arthritis was caught in time and treated by doctors

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A mother has revealed how her son’s sore throat turned out to be one of the deadliest infections in the world.

Claire O’Dowd, from Perth, thought her son Liam, seven, was suffering from a common virus when he suddenly became ill.

However, the child’s condition quickly began to deteriorate, causing the mother to panic. She took him to the hospital where two doctors thought his high temperature was just a typical virus.

Fortunately, another doctor realized something was wrong, with Liam’s body covered in a rash and the little boy unable to put any weight on his ankle.

He was eventually diagnosed with septic arthritis, a potentially deadly infection caused by bacteria flowing through a person’s bloodstream.

Liam's body was covered in a rash and the little boy couldn't strain his ankle

Liam’s body was covered in a rash and the little boy couldn’t strain his ankle

As he discussed Liam’s condition, his mother shared the chilling moment when she knew something was wrong.

“He was very hot again and unresponsive when I went to see him at 3 am,” said Ms. O’Dowd. 7NEWS.

“His eyes were open, but he was looking past me. I almost immediately called the ambulance.

“Once we saw a doctor, I think they immediately realized that there was more to it than just a virus and some temperatures.”

About 5,000 Australians are dying of sepsis everywhere, but Liam’s infection was discovered in time for treatment.

He finally issued nine days at Perth Children’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery on his ankle.

“I had no idea how serious it was going to get and how quickly it happened,” O’Dowd said.

“I just didn’t even think about looking for anything more.”

Doctors said Liam’s infection was caused by Strep A, the same bacteria that killed Aishwarya Aswath while waiting for help at Perth Children’s Hospital.

Seven-year-old Aishwarya died of sepsis in April last year, hours after arriving at the hospital’s emergency department with a fever and unusually cold hands.

Doctors said Liam's infection was caused by Strep A, the same bacteria that killed seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath while waiting for help at Perth Children's Hospital.

Doctors said Liam's infection was caused by Strep A, the same bacteria that killed seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath while waiting for help at Perth Children's Hospital.

Doctors said Liam’s infection was caused by Strep A, the same bacteria that killed seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath while waiting for help at Perth Children’s Hospital.

She was left in a waiting room for more than 90 minutes, despite her parents pleading with staff to escalate her care as her condition worsened.

“It’s actually the fifth most deadly bug in the world,” Jonathan Carapetis, director of the Telethon Kids Institute, told 7NEWS.

“This is the kind of insect where a child can go to bed perfectly healthy and never wake up — it can kill you in a matter of hours.”

The institute is now pushing for an international plan to find a vaccine for the bug, which is currently unprevented.

There is no way to prevent it, but now the institute is leading an international push to develop a vaccine.

Researchers also hope that throat swabs and fingerstick tests will help them learn more about Strep A.

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