Blood poisoning can be a life-threatening condition if left undiagnosed or untreated for a long duration. To diagnose the condition on time, medical attention is vital. However, most people are unaware of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
Hearing "blood poisoning" can give anyone jitters because most of us imagine the blood being poisoned by something. But, the reality is something different. In real, the condition has got nothing to do with poison. However, it is just as fatal and immediate treatment is vital for survival, which makes knowing about the disease even more important.
What is Blood Poisoning?
It is a medical condition the severity of which depends on the type of bacterium causing the infection. In several cases, the condition is not diagnosed or is ignored for too long, which leads to severity of the condition. Commonly known as septicemia or sepsis, blood poisoning can be a life-threatening condition which is caused by the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. Infection in any part of the body can cause the condition if the bacteria manage to escape and enter the bloodstream.
What Causes the Condition?
Sepsis can be caused by exposure to a number of infectious agents like viruses, fungi, bacteria or parasites. Some of the most common reasons for sepsis are:
- An already existing infection, usually in the abdomen, lungs or urinary tract
- Diseases like cancer or diabetes that increase the risk of blood poisoning
- A needle or syringe that has been contaminated by an IV drug user
Blood Poisoning Risk Factors
There are several conditions that can make you more vulnerable to suffer blood poisoning. These risk factors include:
- A recent surgery or illness which led to hospitalization
- Weakened immune system due to chemotherapy or cancer
- Immune deficiency caused by diabetes
- Old age, as the immune system starts failing
- Immunosuppressive conditions like HIV infection
- Medical healing with an invasive device
- Living in unhygienic conditions
Symptoms of Blood Posioning
There are several symptoms of blood poisoning that can help you identify the condition. As soon as you come across any of such signs, rush for medical help without any delay. Following are some of the symptoms:
- Fever, even if the temperature of body is low
- Chills and shaking
- Increased rate of heart and rapid breathing
- Confusion, disorientation and agitation
- Pale and clammy skin
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and dizziness
- Pain in joints like elbows, knees, wrists, back and hips
When the condition advances, following symptoms may be experienced:
- Rashes or dark red spots on the body
- Decreased urination
- Bleeding or clotting
You may not be able to diagnose the condition on your own. Thus, learn about the condition as much as you can and rush for medical help as soon as you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
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