Mum-of-three who contracted sepsis praises quick-thinking nurse for saving her life

Reporter:

Staff reporter (NW Chronicle)

A QUICK thinking nurse helped save the life of a mother of three after spotting the signs of sepsis.

Rhian Doyle from Llanfairfechan, has praised Glan Clwyd Hospital triage nurse Mel McKenna, working on the GP out of hours service, for spotting the signs of sepsis which helped save her life.

Rhian, who had undergone an emergency hernia operation a few days earlier, became unwell on Saturday, February 18, when she was preparing to celebrate her daughter Afiya’s fifth birthday.

The 31-year-old began to develop a fever and experiencing pain in her abdominal area.

“I woke up early on the morning of Afiya’s birthday and I instantly felt very unwell, I had my emergency operation a few days earlier to repair my hernia and I thought it was just the effects of that.

“However, during the party I started to feel very dizzy and I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t stand up.

“It was at that point my husband, Chris, persuaded me to ring the GP Out of Hours Service, which I was reluctant to at first as I didn’t want to make a fuss,” she said.

She was then connected to triage nurse Mel, who advised her to call an ambulance immediately.

Rhian said: “She was extremely calm and made me promise her that I would ring 999 as my symptoms sounded like I was suffering from a life-threatening infection.”

Rhian, who also has two sons, Aidan, aged seven, and Christopher, 10, was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd by the Wales Ambulance Service where she was given antibiotics to prevent her from developing sepsis, which can be life-threatening. 

Sepsis is a complication of an infection, and without early treatment, sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and even death.

Hollie Davies, Senior Nurse Manager for the GP Out of Hours Service, has praised Mel for her “prompt advice”.

She said: “As senior nurse in the GP Out of Hours in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd I would like to thank our triage nurse Melanie McKenna for the prompt advice she issued to a patient which encouraged the patient to ring an ambulance immediately as her present condition was deemed urgent and needing an ambulance.

“The GP Out of Hour’s service is a service that is available to deal with primary care patients who believe their illness/symptoms need review urgently and cannot therefore wait to see their own GP the next working day.”

“I am so grateful to Mel, it’s amazing that by just speaking to me over the phone she knew I needed urgent treatment. If it hadn’t been for her I would never have called the ambulance, she saved my life and I hope one day I will get to meet her and thank her in person.” 

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