Blood Poisoning – How to Handle This Severe Health Condition

Blood poisoning, also called sepsis or septicemia, is a serious health condition that may put your life in danger if not treated at the right time. Blood poisoning can be caused by a powerful infection that your immune system cannot handle well.

blood poisoning

Why is it so dangerous?

When your immune system is overwhelmed by an infection, some chemicals are released into your bloodstream, in order to fight against the severe disease. But these chemicals are causing inflammation and blood clotting that can harm many organs. Moreover, a very serious infection is spreading in your body, causing damage that can be fatal.

For example, blood clotting leads to a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to your organs, and it may also cause very low blood pressure. These, next to the infection in your bloodstream, may lead to septic shock, which means that some of your vital organs, such as kidneys and liver, start to shut down. The infection spreads very quickly, and it is hard to keep it under control.

Blood poisoning may threaten your organs’ health and may cause their failure. This means that this is a very serious health condition, one that may cause death. In fact, statistics reveal that more than 500,000 American people die annually because of blood poisoning.

Risk factors

Generally speaking, those who have a weakened immune system are more exposed to developing sepsis. If your immune system is properly working, the risk of blood poisoning is very low.

Even though blood poisoning is usually caused by a bacterial infection, sometimes it can also be triggered by other types of infections. The infectious agents that cause this disease may get into your body in many different ways, ranging from a common scratch to a serious medical condition, such as meningitis.

New-born babies are usually more inclined to develop blood poisoning because their immune system is not totally developed yet. If they have a health condition caused by an infection, this has to be treated quickly to lower the risk of blood poisoning.

Elderly people are another category exposed to blood poisoning because their immune system is usually weakened, especially if they have other health conditions. Moreover, a chronic medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, is also an important risk factor.

People suffering from AIDS and cancer also have a poor immune system and the probability of developing blood poisoning when suffering from an infection is higher. The risk is also greater after surgery or another invasive medical procedure.


The symptoms of blood poisoning include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, shaking chills, rapid breathing, dizziness when standing, rapid heartbeat, and pale skin. In some cases, patients also experience abdominal and back pains, as well as joint pain. A rash next to these symptoms may also indicate blood poisoning.

How to reduce the risk of blood poisoning

An efficient way of reducing the risk of sepsis is to strengthen your immune system. It is also necessary to treat any infection as soon as possible and to follow your doctor’s advice after an invasive medical procedure. Furthermore, it is important to clean your wounds and scratches with an antiseptic solution because this will kill any dangerous bacteria.

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