Septicemia is a serious bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning. Septicemia occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as in the lungs or skin, enters the bloodstream. This is dangerous because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried through the bloodstream to your entire body
Septicemia can quickly become life-threatening. It must be treated in a hospital. If it’s left untreated, septicemia can progress to sepsis.
Septicemia and sepsis aren’t the same. Sepsis is a serious complication of septicemia. Sepsis is when inflammation throughout the body occurs. This inflammation can cause blood clots and block oxygen from reaching vital organs, resulting in organ failure. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that over 1 million Americans get severe sepsis each year. Between 28 and 50 percent of these patients may die from the condition. When the inflammation occurs with extremely low blood pressure, it’s called septic shock. Septic shock is fatal in many cases.