Do you Know about Sepsis or Blood Poisoning?

Blood PoisioningCommonly known as blood-poisoning, sepsis is a serious condition which occurs when the bloodstream gets contaminated with bacteria. Despite its name, it is not a poisoning of the blood, but it is an infection which demands for immediate medical attention. Blood poisoning is used to describe conditions such as sepsis bacteria or septicemia. The condition is fatal and one has to take the symptoms seriously.

What are the causes of blood-poisoning?

As mentioned earlier, blood-poisoning happens when bacteria entered in the blood stream. The condition is called as septicemia which indicates presence of bacteria in the blood. Septicemia, when left ignored or untreated leads to sepsis which is the most severe and fatal condition. Not only bacteria, sepsis can be developed due to viral and fungal infection also if it not treated on time. Most of the times, the infection develops in other parts of the body as well. Lungs, urinary tract and abdomen being the generally targeted organs. It has been observed that people who are hospitalized are at a higher risk of developing sepsis.

Some of the common infections that contribute in blood-poisoning are given below:

  • Stomach infection
  • Infected insect bite
  • Dialysis or chemotherapy catheter infection
  • Infected tooth or dental extraction
  • An open wound exposed to bacteria
  • Pneumonia
  • Skin infection


Who are at the risk of blood-poisoning?

  • People with weak immunity
  • People infected with HIV AIDS or leukemia
  • Children
  • Elderly people
  • People with poor dental hygiene
  • People who have had recent surgery
  • Those who are higher risk of exposure to bacteria


Understanding the symptoms of blood-poisoning and immediately call for medical help. Blood poisoning shows similar symptoms that match with majority of other bacterial infections. However, you need to take it quite seriously. The symptoms of blood-poisoning are:

  • Moderate or high fever
  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pale skin


As mentioned earlier, one can mistaken the above-mentioned symptoms for any other bacterial infection. However, if you have undergone any surgery in the recent past or are recovering from a wound, then you need not ignore these symptoms.

Blood poisoning can be fatal and for that you need to understand its signs and symptoms. It shows following symptoms in its advanced stage:-

  • Less or little urine production
  • Confusion
  • Red spots on the skin which later turned into purple bruise
  • Shock
  • Organ failure


What are the methods to diagnose blood-poisoning?

Blood poisoning mimics the symptoms of other bacterial infections and that is why it is pretty difficult to self diagnosing the condition. Your doctor will carry out the following tests to diagnose blood-poisoning.

  • Blood culture testing
  • Total blood count
  • Blood oxygen level
  • Urine tests along with urine culture
  • Kidney functioning test


Along with these tests, you also need to go for tests like X-ray, MRI, liver functioning tests etc., if your doctor asks you to get it done.

How blood-poisoning is treated

Blood poisoning shouldn’t be treated like any other random bacterial infection. It could be fatal if left ignored or untreated. Once you diagnosed with blood poisoning, you need to get hospitalized to get the treatment done. As per the severity of your symptoms, your doctor might keep you in a general room or intensive care unit.

The usual method of treating blood-poisoning is hydration therapy along with suitable antibiotics. Vasopressors are those medicines used to keep low blood pressure temporarily. Your doctor might use them to keep blood-poisoning under control. Dialysis can be an option if kidney failure occurs.

What are the preventive measures?

As per study results, blood poisoning is a life-threatening condition. Even if you survive through it, you are at higher risk of developing complications such as blood clots, gangrene and possible amputation. The only prevention that can save you from being the victim of blood-poisoning is treating every infection immediately.