Septicemia / Sepsis
Symptoms and Signs
A septicemia patient may show symptoms due to the primary infection, due to sepsis per se, or due to the complications of sepsis.
Patients suffering from septicemia or sepsis show symptoms of the primary infection. For example, pain in the right lower abdomen may point out to appendicitis. Other features observed in these patients are:
Fever or low temperature: Though infection causes fever, some patients with sepsis may show a decrease in body temperature. This may be especially noted in neonates, elderly, alcoholics and kidney failure patients.
Increase in respiratory rate: The patient often breathes faster.
Neurological signs: The patient may suffer from disorientation and confusion.
Low blood pressure: Due to low blood pressure, blood supply is unable to reach vital organs leading to organ dysfunction.
Death of peripheral tissues especially digits: This is caused due to a decrease in blood supply to the digits due to low blood pressure and excessive clotting within the blood vessels.
Skin lesions: The skin in septicemia patients may show blisters that are fluid filled or filled with pus. They may also show the presence of small bleeding spots or redness under the skin.
Cellulitis: Infection of the tissues under the skin is called cellulitis. This infection is notorious for spreading very fast.
Digestive system symptoms: The patient may suffer from nausea, vomiting or diarrhea if the sepsis is accompanied by gastroenteritis. Besides, sepsis can also lead to ulcer formation and coughing up of blood.
Jaundice: The liver is often affected in sepsis leading to jaundice.