Bloodstream Infection or Bacteremia- How Dangerous It Is?

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

Bloodstream infection is also known as ‘Bacteremia.’ It is a serious life-threating infection that can be a cause of death if not treated well.  In this infection, the bacteria are present in the bloodstream alive as well as reproduce.


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The bloodstream infection is defined as either primary or secondary. In primary infection, bacteria are directly introduced to the bloodstream like an injection of the drugs. In the secondary infection, bacteria come from outside of the body, such as any cut in the skin, bladders, genitals, mouth or intestine.


Somehow, bloodstream infection is also known as ‘Septicemia‘ or ‘Sepsis‘. These terms are often considered as same but technically they are not. Septicemia is a state of having bacteria in the bloodstream and it can lead to sepsis. Sepsis can be very serious it can cause the failure of organs and even death if not treated well.




What Causes Bloodstream Infection?



Well, these are some common causes of bloodstream infection but it can also lead sepsis which can be very dangerous including;



  • Abdominal infection.



  • An infected insect bites.


  • Dental extractions or teeth infection.


  • Exposure of the covered wound to bacteria during surgical recovery.


  • Infection by drug-resistance bacteria.


  • Exposure of wound in the environment.




Who are at the Risk of Bloodstream Infection?



Well, we can say that bloodstream infection is common and anyone can be affected with it but some are at the higher risk to sepsis due to these factors-



  • Older adults


  • People with a weaker immune system or those who had HIV, AIDS or Leukemia


  • One who use intravenous drugs


  • People with bad oral hygiene



  • Those who use the catheter


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What are the Symptoms of Bloodstream Infection?



So, the symptoms of this infection are as like as common flu or illness including;



  • Shaking chills


  • Rapid breathing


  • Low blood pressure


  • A rapid heart rate


  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea),


If you feel these symptoms after surgery or any dental extraction or any other wound with environmental exposures you should go to the doctor to consult immediately. There are also some advance symptoms which can be really dangerous or life-threatening. you should not ignore any of them and contact your doctor as soon as possible. these advance signs are:


  • Confusion or shock


  • Red spots on the skin which are growing faster.


  • Less or no urine


  • Organ failure



What You Need to Do to Prevent Bloodstream Infection?



The best way to prevent bloodstream infection is to get treated for any kind of infection happened in your body. Do not let the wound get environmental exposure. If you have gone with any surgery then you should take the proper antibiotic course to prevent the infection. Some other general preventions are avoid smoking, avoid illegal drugs, eat a healthy diet, do regular exercise, wash your hands regularly etc.





Initially, bloodstream infection looks like a common infection but as you feel any of the advance symptom you should go to the doctor and need to get treated as soon as possible.


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