Doctor's Notes on Sepsis (Blood Infection)
Sepsis refers to the presence of a serious infection that has disseminated in the body through the bloodstream. It is sometimes referred to as septicemia and as “blood poisoning” by lay persons. Sepsis involves widespread organ dysfunction and can cause many different symptoms and signs. Most commonly, sepsis is due to a widespread bacterial infection in the bloodstream.
The main symptoms of sepsis are a drop in blood pressure (low blood pressure), fast respiratory rate, and change sin mental status like sleepiness, confusion, or delirium. Other symptoms and signs can also be associated with sepsis. Associated symptoms can include fever or a low body temperature, chills, fast heart rate, fatigue, dizziness, flushing, and shortness of breath. Sepsis can also cause a drop in urine production, shock, and organ failure.
Must Read Articles:
Bacterial PneumoniaBacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. People with pneumonia usually experience coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death from infection.
CellulitisCellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and soft tissues that causes swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth. Treatment will involve antibiotics. Severe infection may require IV or intramuscular antibiotic injections.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Is Sepsis Contagious?Sepsis itself is not contagious, but the infections that can lead to sepsis can be contagious. However, the germs that can lead to sepsis don’t automatically infect another person with sepsis; the term describes a catastrophic immune system reaction to infection.
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)Low blood pressure (hypotension) may be caused by heart conditions, intravascular fluid complications (dehydration, pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding), medications, endocrine conditions, allergic reactions, orthostatic hypotension, diabetes, and micturition syncope. Low blood pressure may or may not have symptoms depending upon the cause. Treatment also depends upon the causes of low blood pressure.
Rash (Causes, Types, and Cures)A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and allergic dermatitis. Types of infectious rashes include ringworm, impetigo, scabies, herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Rashes may be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Treatment depends upon the type of rash.
Thermal Burns (Heat or Fire)Thermal burns are burns caused by heat, rather than chemicals or other causes. They can range from mild, like a sunburn, to severe. The burn severity is determined by the size of the area of the body with burns and how many layers of skin are involved.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.