Sepsis or Septicemia is very very dangerous. What this means is bacteria inside the blood. It is also known as bacteremia. If anything that is toxic reaches your bloodstream, septicemia is the result.
It is bacterias that are gram-positive in their nature that can most commonly instigate septicemia. Staph types of infections can also bring on blood poisoning but are less common than gram-positive bacteria.
Symptoms that a person is having any blood poisoning are those such as, (1) rapid heartbeats, and (2) rapid breathing patterns. These are the most indicative symptoms of a person that is in danger of sepsis. Septic shock is evident when the person not only displays those symptoms, but when low blood pressure also is occurring.
Septicemia can move rapidly and cause injury to the tissues and organs. If a person is otherwise healthy, and the blood poisoning is treated quickly, recovery is fair. If on the other hand, a person with septicemia is ill, and has a suppressed immunity, chances of death are quite high.
When organisms invade the bloodstream, infection sets in quickly. A person can pick up septicemia through unclean medical procedures, wounds from bullets and knives, burns on the skin that are second or third degree, and eating bad foods with certain bacterias present.
When diagnosing septicemia, blood cultures and many blood tests, will give the whole picture of the invading organism(s). A urine culture is also done to see if any invading organisms have spread into the urinary tract.
Blood clotting might also need to be studied with septicemia. One of the tests is known as Prothrombin. This test will tell how long exactly, the liquid plasma takes to clot normally.
A test called Partial thromboplastin time, (PTT,) is also done in combination usually with the PT test. This test tells how long the blood itself takes for clotting normally.
Sometimes the Fibrinogen test is useful. Fibrinogen is a liver protein that everyone has. If this level is low, it indicates a problem.
Platelet counts are also needed to see if you have the right number of platelets or not.
Blood gas levels will also be taken to determine oxygen levels. This is important since septicemia can lead to adult respiratory distress syndrome.
The skin lesion will also be given a culture if that is the cause of your septicemia. Sometimes doctors will also surgically drain these.
Treatment will all hinge upon how severe the infection is. In any event, the person affected will need hospitalization and the use of intravenous medications. Some people need to have supportive oxygen, and an aggressive round of antibiotics to wipe out all of the infection taking place.