Blood Poisoning: Signs and Symptoms
A commonly used term to refer to dangerous health conditions such as septicemia, bacteremia and sepsis, blood poisoning is a bacterial infection that affects our bloodstream. In contrary to its name, this medical condition is not about our blood being poisoned. Nevertheless, blood poisoning can still result to life threatening medical cases.
In order to prevent oneself from being infected or diagnosed with blood poisoning, there are some risk factors that you should know. Knowing the causes of this medical condition can help us easily address the medical condition in case we got one. Also, it is also helpful to understand who are prone to having blood poisoning as some people are at risk of this medical condition.
Once we got to know the risk factors, it is now helpful to understand the signs and symptoms of blood poisoning. This will allow us to easily manage the medical condition and apply the necessary treatments. To know more about blood poisoning, here is a quick roundup of the important things to learn about this health disease.
What Are the Common Causes of Blood Poisoning?
Medical studies claim that blood poisoning is a result of a bacterial presence in the other body parts such as the urinary tract system, abdomen and lungs, infiltrating and affecting the bloodstream. Among the common causes of this health condition are infected bites of insects, infections in the abdomen and teeth and infections in the central line system. Other scenarios that could lead to blood poisoning are wound bacteria, drug-resistant bacterial infection and pneumonia.
As mentioned some people are more at risk of being diagnosed or suffering from blood poisoning. There are also a few individuals who are more susceptible to having this medical condition. Among them are those who were detected to have leukemia, AIS, HIV and other immune system disorders. Young children and older adults should also be extra careful as they are also prone to having infections in the blood. Other at-risk groups are those who have heroin, people who are in a catether, those who recently underwent surgery and people who work in hospitals.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Blood Poisoning?
Knowing the early blood poisoning signs and symptoms are essential to immediately act on it and prevent other alarming results or complications. Many of these are commonly seen in patients who are diagnosed with flu, but if you recently underwent surgery or have been treated from wound infection then it is essential to seek immediate help as it could be sepsis or blood poisoning. Below are the early blood poisoning symptoms.
- High or moderate fever
- Severe body weakness
- Fast breathing
- Increased palpitations or heart rate
- Skin paleness
These are just among the early signs of the blood bacterial infection. If left untreated, it could lead to life-threatening symptoms such as confusion, skin bruises, shock, no or low production of urine and organ failure. Once organ failure starts to happen, patients who are having blood poisoning can also experience respiratory distress syndrome. If not immediately addressed, the condition can worsen can result to septic shock and death.
How to Diagnose Blood Poisoning?
Self-diagnosing of this medical condition can be a little tricky as its symptoms are similar to other illnesses. This is why it is highly recommended that at the onset of the symptoms, medical professionals’ assistance should be immediately asked. Diagnosis of septicemia includes blood pressure and body temperature checking. Once done and if a patient is suspected to be having this condition, other tests will be conducted by the doctor. These tests include those that are to identify the blood oxygen levels, blood count and clotting factor. Other tests that could be done are blood culture, urine culture, chest X-ray, kidney function and electrolyte level. To detect the functioning of our body organs and prevent these from failure, doctors will recommend several imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI scan, ultrasound as well as CT scan. By doing these tests, bacteria can be immediately detected and acted upon. This will help the doctors assess the best antibiotic and line of treatment to implement.
What Are the Different Blood Poisoning Treatments?
As the infection occurs in the blood, urgent treatments are to be done as the condition can spread to the heart and the other body tissues. These will prevent the patient from going into shock which is a serious complication of blood poisoning and is characterized by paleness, shallow breathing, low blood pressure and unconsciousness.
To treat the blood infection, then having a stable blood pressure is important as detecting blood clots can cause life threatening situations to patients who are immobilized. The common treatments for blood poisoning are hydration, application of antibiotics and the intake of vasopressors. However, mechanical ventilation and dialysis may also be recommended if dysfunction in the different organs is found in the patient.
Long-term Treatment of Patients Diagnosed with Blood Poisoning
A medical report released by Mayo Clinic found that once a patient who is suffering from blood poisoning got into septic shock, the mortality rate is said to be 50 per cent despite successful early treatment of the condition. In addition to this, the risk for having future infections related to this is also high. So the bottom line here is that once you have been detected with severe sepsis, even if you have survived it, then you need to be always on guard as you are now prone to other serious conditions such as blood clots, gangrene or tissue death as well as organ failure.
In this regard, the statement prevention is better than cure appears to be true to patients with blood poisoning as it is really serious and could be fatal to us. Among the preventive measures to save yourself from the infection are proper wound cleaning and not going to places with lots of fungi, viruses or bacteria. When prescribed with antibiotics, recommended dosage and time of intake should also be followed to prevent oneself from being resistant to treatments in the future.