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What is a septicemia infection?

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Quick Answer

A septicemia infection is blood poisoning, according to Healthline. It occurs when bacteria enter the blood stream and infect it. This infection can be serious and life-threatening and often progresses very quickly, reports MedlinePlus.

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Septicemia often results from a bacterial infection, but other organisms such as fungi may also enter the bloodstream and infect it, notes Healthgrades. It often starts as an infection elsewhere in the body, and this causes bacteria in the bloodstream to accumulate to dangerous levels. Common areas where the infection may start include the lungs, abdomen and urinary tract. The infection may also start in the central nervous system due to meningitis or in the heart due to endocarditis.

They symptoms of septicemia are a result of the body's immune response to the infection in the blood, explains Healthgrades. Some of the symptoms of septicemia include high fever, chills, accelerated heart beat and rapid breathing. As the septicemia progresses, red spots may appear on the patient's skin due to blood clotting problems. The patient may also have reduced urine volume and inadequate blood flow, reports Healthline. Additional possible symptoms include confusion and being unable to think clearly.

Septicemia is a medical emergency, and the patient must go to the hospital immediately, according to Healthline. This type of infection may lead to life-threatening complications such as septic shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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