Patient cured of rare life threatening infection

A patient recovered from a rare life threatening illness at Hammersmith Hospital after going to the urgent care centre.

Emily Daenell, 21, had a serious infection, a form of toxic shock which only occurs around once in 100,000 people.

After being initially assessed by doctors at the urgent care centre, the on-site specialist medicine assessment centre diagnosed her and she was admitted to Hammersmith’s dedicated infectious diseases ward for life saving treatment.

She said: “I noticed a rash on my face and was feeling ill. I was itchy, fluey, and had a bad chest and stomach too, so I went to the nearest urgent care centre which was at Hammersmith Hospital. I was taken to the specialist medical assessment unit there and then admitted to a ward – within a couple of hours I was getting treatment.”

Hammersmith Hospital’s urgent care centre and specialist medicine assessment centre are open 24/7, available to respond to health needs that cannot wait for a GP appointment.

Consultant in infectious diseases Prof Sunil Shaunak came to see Emily and made a diagnosis, admitting her to one of the infectious disease wards. For around five days, she was too ill to get out of bed and was on fluids and intravenous antibiotics.

Prof Shaunak said: “If Emily had waited another 24 hours before getting help, her chances of survival would have been greatly reduced. This is a rare case - we only see around two a year and we are a specialist centre. It will take Emily four or five weeks to fully get over it.”

Emily did not suspect she had a serious condition when the rash first appeared and was using calamine lotion until her condition worsened prompting her to seek urgent care.

Emily said: “I didn’t expect it would be as serious as this, but now I’m feeling much better.

“Staff here did well to keep me calm. They didn’t want me to freak out as I wouldn’t have coped very well.

“They were very helpful and organised –  I was really pleased with the care I got. The nurses were really friendly and Prof Shaunak came to see me often. He was really quick to diagnose me which was lucky given the nature of what I had.”

Emily has now recovered and been discharged home to her family.