Blood Stream Infections/ Bacteraemia/ Septicaemia/ Blood Poisoning

Blood stream infections/ bacteraemia/ septicaemia/ blood poisoning occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body such as in the lungs or skin which enters the blood stream. This is dangerous because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried through the blood stream to the entire body.

Blood stream infections/ bacteraemia/ septicaemia/ blood poisoning mean the presence of bacteria in the blood. The blood is normally a sterile environment hence the detection of bacteria in the blood is always abnormal. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream as a severe complication of infections like pneumonia, meningitis, during surgery especially when involving mucous membranes such as the gastrointestinal tract, due to catheters and some other foreign bodies entering the arteries or veins including intravenous drug abuse. Bacteraemia can have several consequences. The immune response to the bacteria can cause sepsis and septic shock, which has a relatively very high mortality rate. Bacteria can also use the blood to spread into other parts of the body which is called haematogenous spread causing infections far from the original site of infection. Examples cases include endocarditis or osteomyelitis. Personalized cancer medicine, genomics and preventive medicine are emerging practice of medicine that uses an individual's genetic profile to guide decisions made in regard to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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