Could It Be Sepsis? C.D.C. Wants More People to Ask
The baby seemed fine when Dr. Thomas R. Frieden left for work that July morning in New York more than 20 years ago. But when he returned home several hours later, his son was pale and blazing hot, limp in his wife’s arms.
“My first thought was that he was dead,” said Dr. Frieden, who is now the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It was so scary, even for someone trained as a physician, to see how quickly someone who’s healthy can become critically ill.”
Dr. Frieden, an infectious disease specialist, knew time was of the essence. His hunch — which turned out to be correct — was that his son had developed sepsis, a life-threatening condition triggered by an infection that can spiral out of control very quickly.