Septicemia

Definition - What does Septicemia mean?

Septicemia is an infection of the blood. It is caused by a bacterial infection that originated elsewhere in the body and then enters the bloodstream. It can become a life-threatening condition due to the infection's ability to spread rapidly throughout the body via the blood. Urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and kidney infections left untreated can lead to septicemia. Septicemia can also be referred to as bacteremia or blood poisoning.

WorkplaceTesting explains Septicemia

A patient with septicemia will have symptoms such as fever, fast breathing, sweating, and an elevated heart rate. Antibiotics are given for treatment of the condition. If not hospitalized for treatment, the patient may develop more serious symptoms like vomiting, nausea, red skin rash, and decrease in urine output. The patient may also develop complications such as sepsis, septic shock, or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

People who are at high risk of contracting septicemia are patients who are hospitalized for surgery and contract a secondary infection, and people with compromised immune systems such as chemotherapy patients or those with AIDS.

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