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medical : a dangerous infection of the blood
Full Definition of SEPTICEMIA
: invasion of the bloodstream by virulent microorganisms and especially bacteria along with their toxins from a local seat of infection accompanied especially by chills, fever, and prostration —called also blood poisoning — compare sepsis
: invasion of the bloodstream by virulent microorganisms (as bacteria, viruses, or fungi) from a focus of infection that is accompanied by acute systemic illness—called also blood poisoning; see pyemia; compare sepsis
Invasion of the bloodstream, after surgery or infectious disease, by microorganismstypically gram-negative (seegram stain) bacteriaand the toxins they release. The latter trigger immune responses and widespread coagulation in blood vessels. High fever, chills, weakness, and sweating are followed by a drop in blood pressure. Multiple infections are often present, requiring broad-spectrum antibiotics as well as drainage of foci of infection. Without immediate treatment, septic shock follows, with a mortality rate over 50%. Invasive technology and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals have made septicemia more severe and more common. See alsobacteremia.