More than a decade ago, a young man showed up in the emergency department of the hospital where I worked in St. Paul, Minnesota. He had been on a hunting trip with friends when he started to behave strangely and complained of a sore throat. As his symptoms worsened and he became confused, his friends sensed something was wrong and rushed him from the woods to the hospital.
At first, it wasn’t clear if his high fever and symptoms were tied to a terrible case of strep throat or to something worse. But as his heart rate sped up and he became increasingly confused, eventually losing consciousness and the ability to breathe, we knew it was sepsis.