How To Manage Blood Infection
Blood poisoning is serious infection. It is a condition where the bacteria or contamination enters the body’s circulatory system. It may progress to sepsis. Sepsis is a life threatening infection that can lead to death. The only way to manage blood poisoning is to recognise the early symptom of infection and seek immediate medical attention to prevent death.
Causes Of Blood Poisoning
Blood poisoning happens when the bacteria enters the circulatory system. The presence of bacteria in the bloodstream is termed as bacteraemia or septicaemia. The term septicaemia is commonly interchanged with the term sepsis but both are different. Sepsis is life threatening condition that can happen due to any type of infection whether fungal, viral or bacterial. Some of the common causes of sepsis includes:
- Urinary tract, skin, lung or abdominal infection
- An infected insect bite
- Central line infection from a chemotherapy catheter or a dialysis catheter
- Infected teeth or dental extractions
- Exposure of wound to bacteria during surgical recovery, or because of not changing a surgical bandage frequently.
- Infection by drug-resistant bacteria
People More At The Risk Of Developing Blood Poisoning
Individual with a weak immune system such as those suffering from leukaemia or HIV are more at the risk of developing blood poisoning. In addition, elderly and young children are at the risk. Also, people who had recent dental work or surgery, who use intravenous drugs, work in the environment where there is great exposure to viruses and bacteria such as doctors nurses working in hospitals and people with poor dental hygiene or those using catheter are also at the risk of developing blood poisoning.
Symptoms Of Blood Infection
Fever is the first and widely recognised indication of the blood infection. The fever brought by blood poisoning is usually high. The Other symptoms of blood poisoning include chills, rapid breathing, palpitation, pale skin and low circulatory strain.
The advanced symptoms of blood poisoning indicating the development of sepsis includes shock, little or no urine production, confusion, red spots on the skin that grows purple bruise and organ failure. Blood poisoning may lead to septic shock or respiratory distress syndrome and if these conditions are not treated right away, they may lead to death.
How is Blood Poisoning Diagnosed
Self-diagnosis of blood poisoning is difficult as this condition mimics other conditionssuch as common flu and illness. The best way to determine if you have septicaemia is to get a physical exam and keeping a track on your blood pressure and temperature. If your health care advisor suspects the blood poisoning then certain tests are recommended to infer the condition such as blood culture, blood count, clotting factor, blood oxygen level, urine test, kidney function test and chest x ray.
In case you have,a skin wound your doctor may take the sample of the fluid leaking from it to check the presence of bacteria. Your doctor may also ask you to get x-ray, CT scan or MRI scan. Identification of the bacteria helps to prescribe the specific antibiotic to clear up the infection.
What Are The Treatment Options For Blood Poisoning?
Blood poisoning requires prompt treatment to prevent the spread of infection to the heart valve and other tissues. Once the blood poisoning is diagnosed, you are required to get hospitalised to receive treatment as inpatient. In case you show the symptoms of septic shock, you may be admitted to intensive care unit. This condition is usually treated with hydration and fluids and oxygen is given intravenously to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Certain antibiotic are given to target the causative agent. In patients, who are immobilised or bed ridden blood clot is a matter of concern. Medicines are given to support low blood pressure. In cases with multi-organ dysfunction, the patient is mechanically ventilated and is on temporary dialysis if kidneys fail.
What Is The Long Term Outlook Of Blood Poisoning
There is 50% mortality rate in case of septic shock. Even after the successful treatment, the patient may suffer from permanent damage. However, you are at chance of complete recovery in a few weeks if you get prompt treatment and if you follow your doctor’s recovery plan closely. Early and aggressive treatment increases your chance to survive with without any complication and with the right care patient starts feeling better in a week or two.
However, few patients are at the risk of developing serious complication even after surviving sepsis such as possible blood clots, organ failure and tissue death.
How To Prevent Blood Poisoning
No doubt, the best is to prevent blood poisoning. You need to take precautions to avoid blood poisoning such as never keep a wound open, regularly clean and bandage the infected wounds, maintain dental hygiene and if you had any surgery take the complete course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
Hope our article on blood poisoning helps you with the required information. In case of any query message in the comment section.
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta: Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.