What is Septic Arthritis? Mother issues stark warning after docs MISS 7-yr-old son's deadly illness

What is Septic Arthritis? Mother issues stark warning after docs MISS 7-yr-old son's deadly illness
Claire O'Dowd issued a warning when her son, Liam, fell dangerously ill after being initially misdiagnosed as suffering from a typical fever (7NEWS)

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: A woman recently detailed how her son's throat infection developed into a life-threatening illness. Claire O'Dowd assumed that her seven-year-old son Liam had a typical infection when he unexpectedly fell ill. However, his condition began to worsen. She brought him to a hospital, where two medical professionals determined that his fever was just a general virus.

Fortunately, another doctor recognized the problem when Liam couldn't put pressure on his ankle and had a rash all over. It was determined that he had septic arthritis, a possibly lethal condition brought on by bacteria circulating in the blood. O'Dowd spoke about Liam's health and how the events unfolded in an interview with 7NEWS.


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"He was again very hot and he was unresponsive when I went to see him [at] 3 am. His eyes were open, but he was looking past me. I had rung the ambulance nearly straight away. Once we saw a doctor, I think they straight away saw there was more to it than just a virus and some temperatures," O'Dowd said.

Sepsis kills 5,000 Australians annually, but Liam's condition was identified in time for him to receive medical care. He wound up staying in Perth Children's Hospital for nine days, having his ankle operated on. "I had no idea how serious it would get and how fast it came on. I just didn't even think to look for something more," said O'Dowd.

A similar case was reported in April 2021, when Aishwarya Aswath, age 7, passed away from sepsis just hours after visiting Perth Children's hospital's emergency ward with a high temperature and extremely chilly hands. Her parents appealed to doctors to prioritize her treatment as her health worsened when she was put in a waiting area for more than 90 minutes. The very same bacterium that killed Aswath induced Liam's illness, according to medical professionals. The bacterium is known as Strep A.
Jonathan Carapetis, the Telethon Kids Institute director, stated to 7NEWS, "It's actually the fifth-most lethal bug on the planet. This is the sort of bug where a child can go to bed perfectly healthy and never wake up - it can kill you within hours. " The institution is currently advocating for a global strategy to discover a vaccine for the disease, which has no known treatment. Although there is currently no cure, the center is spearheading a worldwide effort to create one. Additionally, scientists are expecting that finger prick examinations and at-home throat swabs may provide more insights about Strep A.

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