Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(sĕptĭsē`mēə), invasion of the bloodstream by virulent bacteria that multiply and discharge their toxic products. The disorder, which is serious and sometimes fatal, is commonly known as blood poisoning. The invasive organisms are usually streptococcistreptococcus
, any of a group of gram-positive bacteria, genus Streptococcus, some of which cause disease. Streptococci are spherical and divide by fission, but they remain attached and so grow in beadlike chains.
..... Click the link for more information.
 or staphylococcistaphylococcus
, any of the pathogenic bacteria, parasitic to humans, that belong to the genus Staphylococcus. The spherical bacterial cells (cocci) typically occur in irregular clusters [Gr. staphyle=bunch of grapes].
..... Click the link for more information.
 but may be any type of bacteria. Septicemia occurs most often in older people who have underlying disease that makes them more susceptible to the infection. The primary causes of septicemia are infection within the walls of the blood vessels, rapidly progressing tissue infections (osteomyelitis, cellulitis), virulent systemic disease (meningitis, typhoid), and local infections (abscess, carbuncle) that the defense mechanisms of the body are unable to contain. The microorganisms usually spread to other organs, such as the lungs, liver, and brain.

Symptoms of septicemia are fever (usually quite high), chills, low blood pressure, confusion, and rash; it often results in multiple organ failure if not treated promptly with antibiotics. The diagnosis can be confirmed with blood cultures for the organism or with blood tests for antibodies or high levels of white blood cells.

See also toxemiatoxemia
, disease state caused by the presence in the blood of bacterial toxins or other harmful substances. The effects of the bacterial toxins known as endotoxins are relatively uniform, regardless of which bacterial species the toxin comes from, and are separate from the
..... Click the link for more information.
; toxic shock syndrometoxic shock syndrome
(TSS). acute, sometimes fatal, disease characterized by high fever, nausea, diarrhea, lethargy, blotchy rash, and sudden drop in blood pressure. It is caused by Staphylococcus aureus,
..... Click the link for more information.


A clinical syndrome in which infection is disseminated through the body in the bloodstream. Also known as blood poisoning.


(US), septicemia
a condition caused by pus-forming microorganisms in the blood
References in periodicals archive ?
For each country, in addition to test volume and sales projections, the report presents sales and market share estimates for major suppliers of Septicemia tests.
The cut became infected and led to septicemia, which caused a heart attack, they say.
They also educated them about importance of vaccination against various infectious, seasonal diseases especially the hemorrhagic septicemia.
Furthermore, severe forms of the infection, such as necrotizing fasciitis and septicemia, are relatively common among healthy persons, although they may cause fewer deaths than they do among persons with predisposing medical conditions.
CDPH's surveyors were not knowledgeable about the diagnosis and coding principals related to septicemia.
Vibrio vulnificus, previously described as lactose-positive Vibrio, (1) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Group EF-3, (2) is a Gram-negative, motile, straight or curved bacillus associated with gastroenteritis, septicemia, and wound infections in humans.
The report provides the 2010-2018 volume and sales forecasts for Septicemia tests performed in the following market segments:
After its threats of criminal charges did not work, SEIU published a "study" about septicemia rates at PHS hospitals and falsely claimed that the "study" demonstrated that patients were acquiring serious blood infections like septicemia while at PHS' hospitals and/or that PHS was engaging in "upcoding" by improperly assigning a diagnosis of septicemia.
In 2000, it was identified from blood culture in a 30-year-old male farm worker who died of severe septicemia associated with multiple lung and liver abscesses (9).
today announced positive results in a new application of its powerful, automated, molecular diagnostic platform, termed SeptiCARD, for the detection of septicemia, the presence of bacteria in the blood often associated with severe infection.
The 2011 Septicemia Diagnostics Market: US, Europe, Japan: Test Volume, Sales Forecasts and Supplier Shares by Country
Two cases of community-acquired septicemia caused by serotype-O1 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were diagnosed in middle-aged, HIV-positive, immunodeficient patients during an 8-month period.