LIFESTYLE

Man 'Misdiagnosed With Flu' In Coma For Three Months Fighting Life-Threatening Sepsis

02/12/2015 11:43 GMT | Updated 02/12/2015 11:59 GMT

A patient who claims he was misdiagnosed with flu was later hospitalised for three months due to life-threatening sepsis.

Mark Sollis, 54, began experiencing flu-like symptoms such as coughing, aching muscles and tiredness when his GP told him to rest.

But a week later his symptoms grew more severe and his wife, Diane, rushed him to A&E.

Once there, doctors diagnosed him with sepsis - a common but potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection.

The IT manager was placed in a medically induced coma and was forced to remain in hospital for a total of three months.

mark sollis

Mark Sollis

"It was horrendous. It all happened so quickly. Mark had not had a day off sick in 20 years yet was suddenly fighting for his life. And he was facing an illness I knew nothing about - I hadn’t heard of sepsis before," Diane told the Mail Online.

According to the NHS, the most common sites of infection leading to sepsis are the lungs, urinary tract, abdomen (tummy) and pelvis. But occasionally, sepsis can follow on from flu.

When a person is suffering from sepsis their body’s immune system goes into overdrive, setting off a series of reactions including widespread inflammation, swelling and blood clotting.

When Mark arrived at A&E he was initially diagnosed with phenomena, but doctors quickly realised there was a further underlying problem.

After running a series of tests they discovered that Mark had pneumonia caused by the bacterial infection legionella. They believe this is probably what caused him to develop sepsis.

At first Mark was put on drips with antibiotics and fluids in intensive care, but when his health deteriorated, doctors were forced to place him in a medically induced coma to limit the impact of the illness.

If the body goes into septic shock its organs can begin to fail. NHS figures state that four in 10 people with sepsis will die.

mark sollis

Mark and Diane

After weeks of treatment, Mark was finally brought back to full consciousness.

When Diane asked him how he was feeling his first words were "not good".

"I can’t describe how wonderful it was to hear his voice again - my husband was back," Diane said.

Mark is now sharing his story with the help of the UK Sepsis Trust to raise awareness of the condition so that others do not delay seeking treatment.

He has said he is grateful that Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham spotted the symptoms of sepsis within hours of him arriving at A&E and move quickly with his treatment.

He said: "If I had gone somewhere else, there’s a good chance I would not be having this conversation."

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