Differences between sepsis and septicemia


Sepsis and sepsis are medical terms that refer to infections and your body's response to those infections. Both words are originally derived from the Greek word sypsis , which literally means "to rot" or "to rot."

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Sometimes "sepsis" and " sepsis " are used interchangeably, but they are not really interchangeable; Although the terms are closely related, their definitions are different. Learn the correct use of each word when talking about infections.

Sepsis and inflammation

Sepsis is defined as an acute inflammatory response to an infection.

When your body is threatened by a serious infection, your immune system reacts by releasing chemical messengers to sound an alarm. These chemical messengers cause inflammation throughout the body.

The infection can be caused by bacteria in the bloodstream, but sepsis can also be caused by an infection that is present in only one part of the body, such as the lungs in pneumonia .

Inflammation in sepsis can lead to blood clots and blood vessel leaks. Without proper treatment, it can damage your organs and potentially kill you.

Sepsis can progress to septic shock, when blood pressure drops and the body's systems begin to shut down. Your lungs, liver, and kidneys can be damaged.

Therefore, sepsis is a medical emergency. In fact, sepsis kills nearly 270,000 Americans each year, and survivors can have lifelong consequences from the disease. More than 1.7 million cases are reported annually in the United States.

Causes and symptoms

If you experience symptoms of sepsis , you should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include:

  • Hot
  • Shaking chills
  • Mental confusion
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Shake
  • Warm skin

In some people, the first signs of sepsis are:

  • Confusion
  • Fast breathing

The elderly, infants, young children, people with weakened immune systems, and people with long-term chronic illnesses are at increased risk for sepsis.

Treatment may include antibiotics plus life support measures such as dialysis and a ventilator until the patient is stable.

Many infections can cause sepsis. Possible reasons:

Sepsis can also be contracted in a hospital from infected IV lines and surgical incisions.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 173,690 cases of nosocomial sepsis in the United States in 2014, representing approximately 6% of all hospital admissions .

Some of these infections are the result of so-called " superbugs ," types of bacteria that are resistant to many different antibiotics. These infections and the resulting sepsis are very difficult to treat.

Septicemia and infection

Septicemia is defined as the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream that causes sepsis. Some people call sepsis "blood poisoning," a term that is accurate, since an overwhelming bacterial infection can actually poison your blood.

Medical professionals and other medical personnel no longer use the term sepsis. To avoid confusion about similar sounding terms, they often use "sepsis" to refer to an inflammatory response and "bacteremia" to refer to bacteria present in the bloodstream.

Other types of infections, such as yeast infections, have different names.

However, some healthcare providers and hospitals still use the old term "sepsis," in some cases synonymous with sepsis. If you don't understand exactly what your doctor means, ask him or her to explain it to you.

Septicemia is a bacterial infection that spreads to the bloodstream. Sepsis is the body's response to this infection, during which the immune system causes severe and potentially dangerous inflammation throughout the body.

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