He was 21 and fit. He tried to push through the flu — and it killed him.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by LoveNDino, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. FrankR

    FrankR Journeyman

    Good advice. I also try to wash my hands frequently. It does seem that the flu shot becomes available earlier in the season nowadays - my local pharmacy offered it to me in August last year! I wait until November, just before Thanksgiving because I heard the flu shot provides strongest protection for 4 to 5 months - so that gets me to April.
  2. Someone who is 21 and generally healthy isn't in the group encouraged to get flu vaccines. I'm not saying it wouldn't be covered but that it wouldn't be administered without him asking for it.
    escortrod likes this.
  3. sniper

    sniper Viscount

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  4. It is probably more correct to say he died of septic shock, not the flu. Alhough is his case the flu was the trigger that led to sepsis.

    "Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die. Many who do survive are left with life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ dysfunction (organs don’t work properly) and/or amputations."

    Sepsis and Influenza


    Influenza and sepsis: Mayo expert describes warning signs of severe sepsis, septic shock


    My learning curve on this went way up when I watched my escort friend Bill die in a hospital of septic shock triggered by an infection. I also have a client who has struggled most of his adult life with the results of Crohn's disease , including several close calls with death due to septic shock, and a recent amputation.

    It's important to know about the flu. But it's probably even more important to know about sepsis.
    g56whiz likes this.
  5. TruthBTold

    TruthBTold Prince

    Generally is it because by the time the infection is caught it has spread to far? Or that there are no antibiotics to cure the infection? I'm stupid as far as these things are concerned.
  6. I'm not an expert. But my basic understanding is that once you have sepsis - i.e. blood poisoning - it spreads quickly, and you need urgent treatment. I think the idea is that a localized infection (e.g. a bacterial infection) does not spread easily or quickly, but once it is flowing through your body the entire body, like your vital organs, start to shut down. Once that starts to happen it is game over pretty quick.

    Again, I'm not an expert. But I think that's in the ballpark of correct. Any medical professionals please chime in.
    TruthBTold likes this.
  7. Keith30309

    Keith30309 Earl

    I've gotten a flu vaccine every year since my mid-30's after a nasty bout.

    I had always known that, because of the way the expected strains are projected, the effectiveness was nowhere near 100%. But I never knew until seeing this just how variable that effectiveness was:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  8. LaffingBear

    LaffingBear Viscount

    Theres some pretty accurate info on here.
    • I work in healthcare. Did a ton of work with Peds, so very in tune with vaccines. Anti-vaxxers make me crazy. If I had Harry Potter's wand, I'd magically transfer every sick child's avoidable illness to his parent.
    • Vaccine effectiveness does vary year to year. One of those info items with mixed reasons for sharing... never want to dissuade vaccination.
    • I also wait until at least late September to get my flu shot, due to max effectiveness period. But its not as if shot receivers are suddenly unprotected at the 5-6 month mark.
    • Airplanes are petri dishes. There is a series of anectodal stories from frequent travelers who rarely get sick. They report that they hold their breath for a bit after passengers nearby sneeze or cough. And refrain from touching their face, especially runbing eyes. I will share that here in SF Bay, I made an effort to never rub my eyes on BART.
    • Real handwashing is the best preventive. Quick splashes at the public bathroom sink is probably worse than not washing at all. If not using soap and hot water, kinda pointless. Given my career, always been shocked when physicians dont wash their hands when leaving public restrooms.
    I was raised that flu symptoms meant bed rest, fluids, aspirin. Nowadays, probably Tylenol or an NSAID. Never bother calling the doctor for the flu. We know that antibiotics are making for drug resistant germs/bacteria. I wonder if anti-virals are doing the same... and about the long term effects of drugs like Tamiflu.
    oldNbusted likes this.
  9. oldNbusted

    oldNbusted Viscount

    Personally, I'm fascinated by the word choices medical professionals make in the best interests of the general public.

    Someone once told me that the masks people wear are not effective because they stop people from inhaling virus particles, but because they stop people from putting their fingers in their own mouth and nose. :eek:

    Regarding hydration, my understanding is the issue is not that people actually need more water when it's cold, the issue is that people unconsciously consume less water in the cold, because they don't have an experience of perspiring as much. But what they are not taking into account is they are likely losing more water though exhalation due to the reduced humidity of the air they are breathing. So they drink less and get dehydrated.

    To make sure I don't inadvertently get dehydrated, I set out a fixed amount of water to drink each day (4 liters, almost exactly 1 gallon, 128 ounces). One has to be careful not to drink too much too fast, not more than .5 liter per hour should be the top end, to avoid possible water intoxication. I pace it out to .5 liter per 2 hours.

    And don't get me started on how insane general American attitudes toward sleep are. It's said if you have to routinely use an alarm to wake up in time and that alarm is always at the same time, you are sleep deprived.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  10. LaffingBear

    LaffingBear Viscount

    Makes me chuckle. I remember when the hospital quality assurance administrator, who oversaw the infection control department (among others), announced in a meeting that the only reason they use an alcohol wipe before drawing blood or giving a shot is tradition. The efficacy of stopping and extraordinarily unlikely infection at the site with a quick swab is almost nil. She specifically said "you could spit on the site and wipe it up, and it would be just as effective."

    Doctors wear those surgical booties because they don't want to get their shoes dirty. Anything beneath the surgical table is out of the sterile field. It has nothing to do with sterility or infection control in surgery. I think that these days, most have converted to wearing clogs anyway, as those are better for posture.

    The hydration advice is well founded, but depends on region. I grew up in the midwest. When the furnace went on, the house dried out. Dry house, and cold outside air, your mucus membranes dry out. They're a vital part of the immune system. Most furnaces in the region have humidifiers. However, here in CA, unless immediately adjacent the coast, the summers are drier. We don't need humidifiers in the winter, as that is (supposed to be) the rainy season.

    Not rubbing your eyes is excellent advice. As noted above, they are pathways into the system.

    I wonder if any public health officials, or CDC, have swabbed cell phones. Swipe right, take a bite of your food. Tap here, rub your eye.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    oldNbusted likes this.
  11. That's tragic for the boy and his family. But the first thing that crossed my mind was if somehow his immune system was compromised by taking some kind of steroids or other muscle boosting drug.
  12. GregM

    GregM Knight

    This is the first flu I've gotten in probably forever. I don't do the flu shot. If it doesnt have at least 80% accuracy I'm not doing it. The technology used is very outdated and ineffective. Shoot the virus into a chicken egg? Wtf is this witch dr voodoo? These researchers need to start bringing their Asain A game. The flu shot is maybe 30% effective this year and has hit every state but Hawaii. Will I get the flu shot next year since I got the flu after returning from DC this year? Nope. I'm chalking this up as a fluke. I will just be more careful and make sure to wash my hands and not touch my face as often.

    MikeBiDude likes this.