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What You Should Know About Ashley Park’s Critical Septic Shock Diagnosis

ashley park
Ashley Park Hospitalized With Septic ShockLionel Hahn - Getty Images

Ashley Park, 32, is in "the throes of recovery" after being hospitalized when a case of "tonsillitis spiraled into critical septic shock."

On Friday, the Joy Ride star shared photos and videos from her hospital room on Instagram and shared with her followers how she's doing after the health scare. "As I sit here processing and recovering from the first few weeks of 2024, the only word I can think of is grateful. While on holiday in December into New Years, what started as tonsillitis spiraled into critical septic shock, which infected and affected several of my organs. I am grateful that my health has improved despite what we had initially been told," she wrote in the caption.

Ashely also said that she's grateful for her Emily in Paris co-star, Paul Forman, who was "unconditionally by my side through all this."

"You calmed my fears and held me through ambulances, three foreign hospitals, a week in the ICU, scary ERs, countless scans and tests and injections, excruciating pain, and so much confusion all while we were alone on the other side of the world far from those we know," she continued in the caption. "I love you Paul. More than I can ever say."

Ashley also thanked all the hospital staff who took care of her during this difficult time. "And I’m deeply grateful to every doctor and ICU nurse who worked tirelessly and especially the @JoaliBeing team for responding immediately and staying with me to provide language translations and vital support," she wrote. "Infinite thanks to my personal team of heroes at home who were on calls with insurance, Paul, my parents, and doctors at all hours (you know who you are)."

The Women's Health cover star also acknowledged that she was hesitant to share what she's been going through with her fans, since she is still recovering. Ultimately, Ashley decided to open up about her experience once she knew she was "safely on the other side of the worst."

She ended the caption with a simple message of gratitude to her fans, family, and friends. "Thanks for reading this. Im sorry for being so absent recently to so much and to people in my life. I love you all," Ashley wrote. "I’m healing and I promise I’m gonna be okay ❤️."

Followers and famous friend flooded the actress and singer's post with support in the comments. "I can hardly look at these without crying. I love you sister and I’m forever grateful you’re on the other side of this and for @peforman for your incredibly huge heart and for being there every step of the way. I cannot wait to hug you both ❤️,” Emily in Paris co-star, Lily Collins wrote. Others said, "Ashley🤍so glad you’re on the other side of this. Sending love," and "Get well soon sweetheart....love from Singapore."

With this latest health update from Ashley, you may be interested in learning more about the symptoms of septic shock, and how it's treated. Ahead, here's what to know about the medical condition.

What are the symptoms of critical septic shock?

Septic shock is the third and final stage of sepsis. That means symptoms can include those of sepsis, which are fast heart rate, fever or hypothermia, shaking, chills, warm and clammy skin, confusion or disorientation, hyperventilating, and shortness of breath, according to the Cleveland Clinic. People with septic shock can also experience additional symptoms, including:

  • Very low blood pressure

  • Lightheadedness

  • Unable to urinate or having little output

  • Heart palpitations

  • Limbs can feel and look cool and pale

  • Skin rash

What are the three stages of sepsis?

The Cleveland Clinic explains that sepsis is divided into three stages:

  1. Sepsis: This stage happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and is life-threatening.

  2. Severe sepsis: This occurs when your blood pressure is low from inflammation throughout your body. The sepsis will cause your organs to malfunction.

  3. Septic shock: This is the last and most dangerous stage of sepsis. Blood pressure is extremely low, even when receiving IV fluids.

How dangerous is septic shock?

Organ damage is one of the most serious complications from septic shock. Because septic shock is “the most severe stage of sepsis,” per the Cleveland Clinic, it is treated as a very serious medical condition. Septic shock is very dangerous because, the Cleveland Clinic says, it can lead to:

  • Brain damage

  • Lung failure

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney failure

  • Gangrene (death of tissue due to lack of blood flow)

  • Death

What is the treatment for sepsis?

Treatment for sepsis will usually require an IV with fluids and antibiotics, and it's important that a patient receives the IV as soon as possible to prevent the sepsis from progressing to a more severe state and ultimately death, according to the Sepsis Alliance. (The risk of death rises anywhere from 4 percent to 9 percent every hour that treatment is delayed, the Sepsis Alliance says.)

It’s important to get the body rehydrated to help increase blood pressure, and it’s common to also receive oxygen via a face mask or a nasal cannula (a tiny plastic tube that fits in your nostrils), according to the Cleveland Clinic. Some patients may have a breathing tube placed in their windpipe and be connected to a breathing machine (a ventilator), the Cleveland Clinic also says, if they have difficulty breathing independently. Surgery may also need to be conducted to remove the source of the infection.

How common is septic shock?

If your immune system is weakened, the risk of septic shock increases. The Cleveland Clinic says those at a higher risk for septic shock include:

  • Newborns

  • People 65 years and older

  • People who are pregnant

  • Recreational drug users

  • People who have artificial joints or heart valves

  • People who have AIDS

  • People who have diabetes

  • People suffering from leukemia or lymphoma

  • People living with an immune disorder

Others at risk include those who have had recent infections, surgeries, transplants, or medical devices implanted, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Is septic shock fatal?

Unfortunately, yes. "Septic shock is a severe, life-threatening condition. The survival rate is low. Survival depends on your age, health, cause of the condition, if you’ve had organ failure and how quickly you receive treatment," the Cleveland Clinic says.

Without treatment, most of the time, people will die. However, even with treatment, 30 to 40 percent of people with septic shock die, per the Cleveland Clinic.

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