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septicemia (sĕptĭsēˈmēə), 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 streptococci or staphylococci 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 toxemia; toxic shock syndrome.

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A clinical syndrome in which infection is disseminated through the body in the bloodstream. Also known as blood poisoning.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(US), septicemia
a condition caused by pus-forming microorganisms in the blood
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Therapeutic management of Haemorrhagic Septicemia outbreak in bovines.
(12.) Mitra J, Chaudhury M, Bhattacharya C., Outbreak of Hemorrhagic Septicemia in free range buffalo and cattle grazing at riverside grassland in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India.
Our study shows that 92% cases have birth weight less than 2.5kg; 73% cases were <34 weeks gestation while 98% cases under 37 weeks gestation, which shows that late onset septicemia is more common in preterm babies.
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.
Calf-care is not only essential for sustenance of the dairy industry but is also essential for preserving and maintaining good quality germ plasm, however, some of diseases such as hemorrhagic septicemia, foot and mouth disease and brucellosis threaten health very badly in Pakistan.
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.
The analysis in this report included all discharge records for persons [greater than or equal to] 1 year of age in which a discharge diagnosis of septicemia (community- or hospital-acquired) (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] codes 038.0--038.9 [4]) was recorded from 1979 through 1987.
PCR and Eloctron Microscopy based diagnosis of an outbreak of Haemorrhagic Septicemia in buffalo and its control in a farm of West Bengal, India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Source of Data: The present study was done by taking samples from 200 clinically diagnosed cases of neonatal septicemia in Neonatal intensive care unit at tertiary care Hospital, Kalaburagi for a period of one year from Jan 2012 to Dec 2012.
He was taken to hospital on Saturday morning and found to have septicemia."
On basis of clinical observation, laboratory examination and post mortem findings, the cause of death in animals was confirmed as Haemorrhagic Septicemia. The disease was further confirmed by VBRI.