19/06/2018 10:14 BST | Updated 19/06/2018 10:16 BST

Mum Whose Toddler Died Urges Parents To Learn The Signs Of Sepsis

'We would like something positive to come out of something so negative.'

A mum who is grieving the death of her 14-month-old daughter, wants to help prevent other children dying of sepsis, by making parents aware of the symptoms.

Sammie Panesar, from Birkenhead, Wirral, said her daughter Ariana had been prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection just a couple of weeks before her death. Last November, Ariana had a slight fever and was given Calpol, but later that evening she became stiff and turned blue. She was rushed to hospital but didn’t survive. 

Sammie, who nicknamed her daughter Ana, is now desperate to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis in children, by sharing them on social media using #InAnasName.

“We would like something positive to come out of something so negative,” she tells HuffPost UK. “We will always share Ana’s memories as she was a gift from God. She really was such a blessing to our family. We miss her beyond words.”

Sammie Panesar
Ana (right) pictured with older sister Lavinia (left).

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning which can occur as a result of an infection, can be easily treated if caught early, but if undetected it can lead to organ failure and death. The Sepsis Trust UK estimates that 14,000 deaths could be prevented every year if the condition had been identified earlier and the correct treatment given.

Dr Ron Daniels, from The Sepsis Trust UK, says “the key to saving lives” is through communication. “We need to be prepared to ask: could it be sepsis? Asking that question can determine whether someone survives or dies,” he explains.

Dr Daniels says sepsis in children is “far more common than meningitis”. Often the most common cause of sepsis is pneumonia, however any infection can potentially be dangerous. “If you’re a parent you need to learn to trust your instincts and get your child to A&E if you suspect something is wrong,” he adds.

Symptoms of sepsis in children

If your child has a sign of infection and one of the following, call 999 and ask: could it be sepsis?

:: Breathing very fast.

:: Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion.

:: Looks mottled, blueish or pale.

:: Has a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it. 

:: Very lethargic or difficult to wake up.

:: Feels abnormally cold to the touch.

:: Or If your child is aged under five and is not feeding, is vomiting repeatedly or hasn’t had a wee or wet nappy for 24 hours.