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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  • I remember my mum suffering this several times. One time she punctured herself on the safety pin from a cloth nappy and she ended up in hospital for 4-5 days. I remember her crying out loud, such pain.


  • Great that this is getting out sepsis can be deadly in kids so quickly


  • Wow more that I didn’t kmow about. Great to know for future


  • Sepsis can be a worrying thing. Number three had a case of this when he had AML, he had to stop chemo to treat this. It really takes a lot of questions sometimes and hoping that you get the right person to treat you that cares and knows their stuff. If unsure keep fighting until you get an answer, your child’s life is perish.


  • My youngest daughter spent a night at my dad’s, her Pa’s farm, and came home with a bug bite on her chest. She’s allergic to mosquitoes so I hoped it was that. But a red circle grew around it and then a red line came from it. I didn’t sleep that night freaking out it was serious, even though she had no other signs. Google does that to me. Took her to the doctor and he said it was fine, a spider bite, and to do nothing. Anxiety and doctor google make for uncomfortable times.


  • You can get a hot red raised painful area from the area where a “needle” has been put in from which blood id taken for tests or used for blood transfusions. It area had been frequently cleaned with a substance which had steriliser in it and covered when the needle was removed. Fortunately it didn’t become sepsis.


  • Sometimes even the signs you think are important are ignored by health workers and they send you home anyway. It is always important to persist!


  • I wouldn’t have known to look for this sign.


  • Yes, sepsis can be difficult to spot.


  • It’s so important to treat even the smallest injuries carefully and make sure they heal properly.


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