Mum of an 8-year-old boy made the exact right move when she took her son to an after-hours clinic after a mysterious red stripe appeared on his arm.

That stripe turned out to be a sign his wound from an earlier fall had become infected, which prompted a visit to the doctor who diagnosed sepsis, a blood infection that can turn deadly if left untreated.

“It isn’t something you can ‘leave’ until Monday when the doctors are back in the office,” U.K. mum Alexandra Ruddy shared on Facebook.

Ruddy said she posted the story and the photo of the red steak as a warning to other parents—especially because his arm “wounds didn’t look infected” and aside from the late-developing fever, her son acted fine.

It has since been deleted but not before being shared nearly 40,000 times.

Her son was diagnosed with sepsis, with signs and symptoms that include fever, high heart rate, confusion, pain and shortness of breath. Red streaks are not directly related to sepsis but are a sign of spreading infection.

Turning to Facebook she warned parents not to ignore red streaks or your gut instincts.

“Thankfully the antibiotics are working and he is well in himself!” she wrote.

“If you spot this red line running from a wound along the vein get yourself/your child seen straight away. Hopefully my post might help someone the way my friend’s post from 2 years ago helped me.”


Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Common symptoms of sepsis are fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, confusion and disorientation.

However many of these symptoms, such as fever and difficulty breathing, mimic other conditions, making sepsis hard to diagnose in its early stages.

If you are worried please question your doctor for further testing!

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  • Mum was bang on and very fortunate the GP and hospital didn’t send her home. So many tragic outcomes out there, and know first hand you need to go with your instincts even when turned away.


  • I’ve read about this. How lucky she knew what she was looking at


  • So good she’s caught this early and now spreading the word for other families


  • That is so good that she caught this!


  • Very smart mum for trusting her gut. He’s a very lucky kid!


  • Always better to get a medical opinion if there are any concerns.


  • Oh my! It looks weird. I would see my GP if I were concerned.


  • Thanks for sharing. Thank God she went with her gut instinct and everything is okay now.


  • Wow, definitely something I’ll remember. Who would’ve thought. Good on the mum for acting.


  • Thanks for this article and the photo – never knew the signs but have a good idea now. And it can happen to anyone at any age too.


  • Wow never knew the signs of sepsis
    Thanks for the article.


  • Such a good community service announcement – really important


  • To prevent sepsis, you need to consume enough Vitamin C everyday and if you get the tiniest scratch dab it with tea tree (water it down for little ones), keep dabbing daily until the wound dries up. I have been using Tea tree for over 30 years and never had any problems clearing up wounds.


  • I had two tiny spots on my arm, looked like a burn and felt like a bruise, turned out to be dvt, rushed to hospital with massive pulmonary embolism in both lungs, both arms and my pelvis. A week in hospital on a drip, 6 months on warfarin with blood tests every two days. Now I am on permanent blood thinners because I get clots every time I get a bruise (I am very clumsy so it happens a lot!)


  • I never knew that a red streak could mean something serious was possibly happening. Thanks for letting us know. Will make sure I look out for this if any of us get a cut. Better safe than sorry


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