What are the symptoms of blood poisoning?


Quick Answer

A person suffering from sepsis, or blood poisoning, may feel weak, confused or feverish and experience chills, rapid breathing and an increase in heart rate, according to Healthline. Physically, the person's skin may appear pale and develop red spots. As symptoms worsen, blood poisoning can cause a person to go into septic shock and interfere with normal urination.

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Full Answer

Sepsis, or septicaemia, occurs when infectious bacteria invade the bloodstream and spread, attacking the entire body. The condition can lead to vomiting and agitation, and the person may feel sore in major joints, including the hips, elbows and knees, WebMD states. Minor cases do not require hospitalization, but severe sepsis eventually prevents organs from performing vital functions. This life-threatening condition is typically caused by toxins released into the body during an infection, such as meningitis, appendicitis or urinary tract infection.

Developing a weakened immune system from HIV, diabetes, chemotherapy or other medical conditions increases an individual's chances of suffering from sepsis, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Drug abuse, current or recent illnesses and normal aging are also risk factors.

Without timely treatment, severe sepsis may cause a patient's blood pressure to plummet and prevent the blood from delivering a healthy amount of oxygen to crucial organs, according to WebMD. Patients who have to be hospitalized are usually given oxygen treatment and antibiotics while physicians monitor blood pressure. If infection persists, doctors may need to remove the bacteria using surgery or drainage tubes.

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