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Sepsis Causes The Death Of Brazilian Model, 20

Mariana Bridi da Costa

Mariana Bridi da Costa, a 20 year old Brazilian model, is reported to have died early Saturday morning. She had struggled with her health for several weeks.

She is said to have first sought medical help in December when she felt unwell. It was reported that medical staff initially thought she had kidney stones, but later diagnosed her with a urinary infection, caused by a rare type of bacteria.

The bacteria proved to be drug resistant and the infection spread, becoming a blood born sepsis. The bacteria is reported to be Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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She returned to a hospital in early January in septic shock from the infection that would force doctors to amputate first her feet, then her hands in an attempt to save her life. Her body and the antibiotics were unable to fight the infection. The sepsis proved fatal for her.

Sepsis is an infection that triggers a body-wide or systemic inflammatory response syndrome. It is characterized by the presence of more than one of the following: elevated temperature, tachycardia, hyperventilation, and an elevated white blood cell count.

Sepsis becomes severe, as the case with Mariana, when it is associated with organ dysfunction (for example, the kidneys fail) or hypotension. When septic shock occurs when there is persistent arterial hypotension despite adequate fluid resuscitation. This can cause the loss of limbs (hands or feet) due to lack of adequate blood flow.

It surprises many people to learn that sepsis is still common and on the rise. In the United States, sepsis occurs in 2-3 people per 1000 population per year. Not only is it still common, it is also surprisingly lethal. Only 50% of patients with severe sepsis survive their hospital admission.

AP and BBC press