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A father-of-two almost died after developing sepsis from biting his fingernails.
Luke Hanoman, 28, from Birkdale, Southport, battled flu-like symptoms for two weeks after biting down the skin on the side of his nail.
After eventually going to hospital last July, Mr Hanoman spent four days under constant observation and was told he was lucky to be alive.
Now fully recovered, Mr Hanoman, a warehouse operator, is speaking out to raise awareness of sepsis’ symptoms.
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, kills around 44,000 people in the UK every year.
Luke Hanoman almost died after developing sepsis from biting his fingernails
After putting up with flu-like symptoms for two weeks, he was rushed to hospital where he spent four days under constant observation while having two drips fitted in his arm
WHAT IS SEPSIS?
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.
Some 44,000 people die from sepsis every year in the UK. Worldwide, someone dies from the condition every 3.5 seconds.
Sepsis has similar symptoms to flu, gastroenteritis and a chest infection.
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Passing no urine in a day
- Severe breathlessness
- It feels like you are dying
- Skin mottled or discoloured
Symptoms in children are:
- Fast breathing
- Fits or convulsions
- Mottled, bluish or pale skin
- Rashes that do not fade when pressed
- Feeling abnormally cold
Under fives may be vomiting repeatedly, not feeding or not urinating for 12 hours.
Anyone can develop sepsis but it is most common in people who have recently had surgery, have a urinary catheter or have stayed in hospital for a long time.
Other at-risk people include those with weak immune systems, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.
Treatment varies depending on the site of the infection but involves antibiotics, IV fluids and oxygen, if necessary.
Source: UK Sepsis Trust and NHS Choices
Developed cold sweats, shaking and fever
Mr Hanoman, who has two sons aged six and five, thought nothing of biting his nails, which was a nervous habit, until he started developing cold sweats, shaking and fever.
He also struggled to focus, while his affected finger swelled and throbbed.
Thinking he just needed rest, Mr Hanoman dismissed his symptoms until his mother noticed he slept in until 2pm.
His concerned mother rang the NHS helpline 111, who said Mr Hanoman had to be rushed to A&E.
Doctors later told the father-of-two he was lucky to be alive after ignoring the signs
The warehouse operator was reluctant to take time off work, preferring to push through
‘They told me I was lucky to be alive’
Mr Hanoman, who had two drips fitted in his arm, told The Mirror: ‘I was close to septic shock.
‘They told me I was lucky to be alive.
‘Eventually they got to the infection in my finger and all of this puss came out.’
Mr Hanoman is keen to raise awareness that sepsis can strike people of any age, adding he was completely unaware of the condition’s symptoms before he was struck down.
Like many others, he claims he was reluctant to take time off work when feeling unwell and just tried to push through the discomfort.
Mr Hanoman’s employer Chemist-4-U.com is raising money towards sepsis research. Donate here.