Septicemia in a serious bloodstream infection. It is also known as blood poisoning. Septicemia occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs,abdomen,urinary tract, bone,central nervous system,heart or skin, enters the bloodstream. This is dangerous because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried through the bloodstream to your entire body.
Septicemia can quickly become life-threatening. If left untreated, septicemia can progress to sepsis which is a complication of septicemia.
Symptoms of septicemia are very serious and progress as the infection develops in the bloodstream.
Early symptoms –
• Fever and chills
• Rapid breathing or Shortness of breath
• Rapid heart rate(tachycardia)
• Sudden high fever (higher than101°F)
Progressing symptoms –
• Decreased urine production
• Rapid heartrate (tachycardia)
• Red spots on the skin (petechiae and ecchymosis )
• Orthostasis (inability to remain upright)
• Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
• Changes in mental status
Many types of bacteria can lead to septicemia. The most common infections that lead to septicemia are –
• urinary tract infections
• Iung infections, such as pneumonia
• kidney infections
• infections in the abdominal area
Bacteria from these infections enter the bloodstream and multiply rapidly, causing immediate symptoms.
You are also at a higher risk of developing septicemia if you –
• have severe wounds or burns
• are very young or very old
• have a urinary or intravenous catheter
• are on mechanical ventilation
• have a compromised immune system, which can occur from conditions,such as HIV or leukemia, or from medical treatments such as chemotherapy or steroid injections
Septicemia complications may be fatal if left untreated or if treatment is delayed for too long.
Sepsis is a serious complication of septicemia. Sepsis causes inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can cause blood clots and block oxygen from reaching vital organs, resulting in organ failure.
People with chronic diseases are at a higher risk of sepsis. This is because they have a weakened immune system and can’t fight off the infection on their own.
Septic shock –
One more complication of septicemia is a serious drop in blood pressure. This is called septic shock.Toxins released by the bacteria in the bloodstream can cause extremely low blood flow, which may result in organ or tissue damage. People with septic shock are usually cared for in a hospital’s intensive care unit.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) –
ARDS is a life threatening condition that prevents enough oxygen from reaching your lungs and blood. It often results in some level of permanent Iung damage.It can also damage your brain, leading to memory problems.
Blood samples are used to test for –
• Evidence of infection
• Clotting problems
• Abnormal liver or kidney function
• Impaired oxygen availability
• Electrolyte imbalance
Other lab tests –
Other lab tests to identify the source of infection might include samples of –
• Wound Secretions
If the site of infection is not readily found, your doctor may order one or more of the following imaging tests –
Early, aggressive treatment increases the likelihood of recovery.
• Antibiotics. Broad spectrum antibiotics,which are effective against a variety of bacteria, are usually used first.
• Intravenous fluids. The use of IV fluids begins as soon as possible.
• Vasopressors. If your blood pressure remains too low even after receiving IV fluids, you may be given a varopresser medication.
Other medications you may receive include low doses of corticosteroids, insulin to help maintain stable blood sugar levels, drugs that modify the immune system responses and painkillers or sedatives.
People who have sepsis often receive supportive care that includes oxygen. Depending on your condition, You may need to have a machine help to breathe. If your kidneys have been affected, you may need to have dialysis.
Surgery may be needed to remove sources of infection, such as collections of pus, infected tissues or dead tissues (gangrene).
Ayurvedic Perspective –
According to Ayurveda, septicemia can be correlated with Sama Sannipataja Jwara.
• Guduchi –
• Turmeric –
• Garlic –
Effective medications –
• Sanshamni Vati
• Mahandarshan Churna
• Jaimangal Ras
• Sanjivani Vati
• Aarogyavardhini Vati
• Grandhak Rasayan
• Punarnava Mandur
• Panchatiktaghrita guggulu
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