Jun 02, 2022
Blood infection may occur in an individual’s body when there is a presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. This is also often termed blood poisoning because it is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Blood infection or septicaemia is a condition in which bacteria and other toxins can spread through the entire body very quickly. This can lead to sepsis, a serious consequence of septicaemia that can damage the tissues rapidly. Read on to know more about septicaemia and how its progression to sepsis infection can be treated timely:
Septicaemia is a clinical term used for describing blood poisoning in an individual. This does not mean that a poison has affected the bloodstream in any way. The word “poisoning” is used for elucidating the gravity of infection in the bloodstream. People with weakened immune systems are often susceptible to blood infection. This can be due to an earlier episode of sepsis, diseases like HIV/AIDS, leukaemia, etc., and constant exposure to bacterial and viral infections. Along with this, people who take intravenous drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances, can be at a higher risk of getting a blood infection.
The most common symptoms of blood infection could be chills, loss of appetite, high fever, nausea, increased heart rate, light sensitivity, extreme discomfort, lethargy, etc. Some people may also experience anxiety as well as increased aggression. In the most serious blood infection cases, a deep state of unconsciousness may also occur, thus immediate medical attention is recommended at the earliest.
Septicaemia is said to occur in the blood when there is a bacterial infection in another organ or body part. Due to this reason, it is also referred to as bacteraemia. Infections that take place in the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract can lead to blood poisoning. Pneumonia that has been left untreated or proper care has not been provided to the patient can also lead to infection in the bloodstream. Other causes of blood infection could be insect bites, dental extractions, exposed open wounds, or any other infection that has been left untreated. It has been observed that people with poor dental hygiene can also get a bacterial infection in the blood.
Blood infections occur due to different types of germs that can cause damage to the tissues in the human body. Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia, and E. Coli are the most common bacteria that cause blood poisoning. Mentioned below are serious complications of a blood infection:
It is not possible to self-diagnose a blood infection because its symptoms are similar to many other medical conditions. So, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner for a physical exam. A blood culture and sensitivity test, a complete blood count (CBC) test, urine culture test, chest X-ray, and kidney function test (KFT) are prescribed to find out the severity of the infection in the bloodstream. For further analysis, image testing such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound can also be done. After a proper diagnosis is made, oxygen and fluids are provided to the patient intravenously. Targeted antibiotics are provided to eliminate the toxins from the bloodstream. People with organ failure are prescribed kidney dialysis and breathing support. In cases, where tissue damage or gangrene has affected the fingers and toes, amputation surgery is performed.
A blood infection may rapidly lead to organ damage, sepsis, or even septic shock if left untreated. Hence, it is imperative to seek the right diagnosis and treatment on time.
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