The official cause of Patty Duke’s untimely death, according to Forbes, is sepsis caused by a “ruptured intestine.” Alarmingly, the number of reported sepsis cases is on the rise. Statistics indicate over one million cases, per year, in the United States alone.
In simple terms, sepsis is the body’s acute response to infection. When left untreated, it can lead to irreversible damage. In the severest of cases, such as that of Patty Duke, approximately 40 to 50 percent of patients die from the condition… approximately 258,000 people annually. The problem occurs when infection rapidly spreads, causing tissue damage and organ failure, which can then lead to death.
Unfortunately, no one is immune from the possibility of becoming septic, as a result of infection. Be aware, certain segments of the population are more at risk. This includes people with chronic illnesses, babies and young children, individuals dealing with weakened immune systems and the elderly.
Information regarding sepsis following the death of actress Patty Duke. This rarely-talked-about infection kills… https://t.co/40zIcpezON
— SOLO Wilderness Med (@SOLOmedic) March 31, 2016
Patty Duke was 69 at the time of her death, which put her in a high-risk category. One of the things that makes sepsis so frightening is the fact early symptoms mimic those you might experience with the flu. Diarrhea, vomiting, an overall aching feeling, and general weakness are things to watch out for.
Seemingly, Patty Duke’s tragic death is not in vain. WKYC tells readers Google searches for the term “sepsis” have increased a whopping 800 percent since she died.
This information comes from Tom Heymann, the executive director of Sepsis Alliance. According to Heymann, this condition affects over 26 million people globally. Not only that, sepsis is the largest killer of newborns and young children in the world.
Awareness is definitely the key, when it comes to reducing the number of sepsis-related deaths. Many people don’t even realize such a danger exists. However, Sepsis Alliance plans to reach out to the medical community and the general population more than ever before. In fact, the organization is dedicating space on its website in memory of Patty Duke.
— SD Fire Foundation (@sdfirefdn) March 30, 2016
Speaking of which, the Sepsis Alliance website is a wonderful source of information, in regard to the diagnosis and life-saving treatment of sepsis, “life after sepsis” stories, what you can do to help spread awareness and much more.
One of the most important things to remember is this. Sepsis should always be treated as a medical emergency. According to a 2006 study, the risk of death increases by 7.6 percent for every hour that passes before treatment begins.
Of course, no one will ever know if Patty Duke would still be alive if the sepsis had been diagnosed sooner. As sad as it is that she’s no longer with us, maybe her death well help to save other lives. And that, of course, is a very good thing.
As recently reported by The Inquisitr, not only was Patty Duke an Oscar-winning actress and a cultural icon, she was also a mental health advocate. Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. She revealed the fact in her 1987 autobiography. She was one of a handful, if not the first, celebrity to go public with her diagnosis of the disease.
Did you grow up watching Patty Duke? If so, did you love her portrayal of Helen Keller, in the Miracle Worker or was your favorite the Patty Duke Show? Many people aren’t aware Patty Duke was an accomplished singer. Were you? Better yet, can you name her two 1965 Top 40 hits? Feel free to leave your comments below.
[Photo by Harry Benson, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]