Death of Rory Staunton galvanises nationwide effort to stop sepsis

Rory Staunton died of sepsis having been sent home from hospital undiagnosed

Read more about Rory Staunton's story

In the wake of the Staunton’s tragedy, many doctors have indicated that this was an accident waiting to happen. “I think it could have happened almost anywhere,” said Dr. Jeremy Boal, the medical director of 16 hospitals that are part of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems, which has run aggressive sepsis-detection programs since 2008. “It absolutely could have happened here.”

Meanwhile, a mother in Florida has come forward to say that the publicity around Rory’s case saved her son.

Nate Byington, 12, of Jacksonville, Fla. became ill with a case of swimmer’s ear and was given antibiotics.

His mother Cara Byington said, “His ear continued to swell and became hot to the touch,” she said. She insisted on returning to the emergency room.

“The attending nurse and doctor took one look at him and said, ‘Possible mastoiditis,’ ” she said, an infection that has spread to the bone from the ear, and comes with the possibility of major complications, including sepsis.

“The E.R. doctor told me that we were probably down to hours before he was in serious trouble,”she  said.

After 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics, Nate recovered.

“Rory’s story made me inclined to be skeptical when the pediatrician kept, in my opinion, blowing off my concerns,”  Byington said. “I will always credit Rory’s parents’ willingness to tell his story for my son’s life.”