Business is booming.

Woman reveals signs of sepsis after she almost died from infected wisdom tooth

A young woman has revealed how doctors mistook her mild rash, mild fever and fatigue as signs of a cold, in a mistake that nearly killed her.

The cause was actually an infected, compacted wisdom tooth.

Two days later Caitlin Alsop27, was in a coma at Gold Coast University Hospital, her tongue was so swollen and black doctors thought she might need to be amputated.

The then 23-year-old told FEMAIL she’d had an “easy day” getting over the flu-like symptoms quickly as things worsened.

“I lay in bed after dinner trying to relax, but I felt tired and warm like something wasn’t right,” she said.

“Then one side of my tongue swelled up to the point that I couldn’t swallow,” she said.

So she went to her local hospital where doctors assumed she was having a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Two days later, Caitlin Alsop was in a coma in Gold Coast University Hospital, her tongue so swollen and black doctors thought they might have to amputate

Two days later, Caitlin Alsop was in a coma in Gold Coast University Hospital, her tongue so swollen and black doctors thought they might have to amputate

Caitlin became very swollen, developed a rash, then was placed in a medical coma as doctors wondered what was making her so sick

Caitlin became very swollen, developed a rash, then was placed in a medical coma as doctors wondered what was making her so sick

Caitlin became very swollen, developed a rash, then was placed in a medical coma as doctors wondered what was making her so sick

“They gave me painkillers and two injections of adrenaline and told me I would be out of there in 45 minutes,” she said.

But she wasn’t.

Her condition continued to deteriorate and she became covered from head to toe with a blue and red mottled rash, her heart rate ‘deteriorated’ and she continued to pass out.

Doctors decided to transfer her to the university hospital, which was better equipped to deal with what was soon described as her “mysterious” illness.

At first only half of her tongue was swollen

At first only half of her tongue was swollen

Before long her whole face had disappeared and her tongue had turned black as the organ 'started to die'

Before long her whole face had disappeared and her tongue had turned black as the organ 'started to die'

At first, only half of her tongue was swollen. Before long her whole face had disappeared and her tongue had turned black as the organ ‘started to die’

“My aunt and mother were with me at the first hospital, but they weren’t allowed to ride with me in the ambulance. It was scary,’ she said.

Doctors went with her instead, in case her breathing became so labored that they had to do an emergency tracheotomy.

At that point, Caitlin needed a mask to help her breathe, was so breathless she wanted to pass out and “felt” she was going to die.

In the ambulance, doctors explained that she would likely be placed in a coma on arrival, but “she doesn’t remember much.”

“They told me it was really serious — which was terrifying because I didn’t know if I would wake up again,” she said.

1663160488 778 Woman reveals signs of sepsis after she almost died from

1663160488 778 Woman reveals signs of sepsis after she almost died from

At this point Caitlin needed a mask to help her breathe, was so out of breath she wanted to pass out and “felt” she was going to die

Nine days later she woke up.

A team of 100 medical personnel was tasked with figuring out what was wrong with the mystery girl.

“They did a lot of testing, bringing in tropical disease specialists to find out what was wrong with me,” she said.

“Eventually they found out I had an infected compound wisdom tooth,” she said.

The tooth had never shown any signs of infection and Caitlin had good general dental health and hygiene.

The problem tooth was removed, along with another wisdom tooth, and drains were cut into her throat to help relieve the swelling.

“They thought about amputating my tongue because it had turned black and was too swollen.  My uncle joked that they couldn't do that because I'm always talking,

“They thought about amputating my tongue because it had turned black and was too swollen.  My uncle joked that they couldn't do that because I'm always talking,

“They thought about amputating my tongue because it had turned black and was too swollen. My uncle joked that they couldn’t do that because I’m always talking,” she said

She was also given high doses of antibiotics to get rid of the deadly infection.

When she awoke, Caitlin was told how bad it had looked while she was sleeping.

“They thought about amputating my tongue because it had turned black and was too swollen. My uncle joked that they couldn’t do that because I’m always talking,” she said.

“The tip of my tongue did melt, so I’m still lisping and learning to talk and eat again, but I’m thankful they caught it in time.”

Two or three days after she came out of a coma, Caitlin was able to go home, where she was treated on an outpatient basis, learned to talk and eat again.

Signs of sepsis:

Sepsis is known as the ‘silent killer’ because its symptoms often resemble those of other less serious illnesses such as the flu or gastrointestinal, making it extremely difficult to spot.

Symptoms of sepsis can vary widely from case to case. That’s why it’s vital to know what to look for and when to seek help.

Any of these symptoms could mean that your child is seriously ill. Come to the hospital immediately, even if you have already been to the doctor:

Rapid breathing or long pauses in breath

Spotty, pale or blue skin

Feels abnormally cold to the touch

Skin rash that does not fade when pressed (glass test)

Drowsy or hard to wake up or confused

floppy

Fit or convulsions

A lot of pain or very restless

Source: Children’s Health Queensland

“It could have happened to anyone, sepsis can start with any infection,” she said.

Caitlin is happy she’s still alive and now makes it her life’s mission to share the common symptoms of sepsis.

“On reflection, everything I had in those early stages, when the doctor thought I had the flu and when I arrived at the hospital with a swollen tongue, pointed to sepsis.

“More people need to know about it in case it happens to them, and more doctors need to know about the signs and symptoms as well,” she said.

Caitlin doesn’t blame anyone for missing her early symptoms, and feels like she’s “came off lightly.”

“It could be anaphylaxis, but they should know the symptoms of sepsis so they can check for that as well,” she said.

Caitlin is now swallowing and is affectionately referred to as “Dory” by loved ones because she has trouble remembering, a common side effect of falling into a coma.

Four years later, she is still “afraid” every time she gets an infection, fearing that her body will “shut down” again.

“This is not just my story, it is the story of thousands of people,” she added.