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Infectious blood disease: What is Sepsis? | Sepsis

What are Bloodborne Infections and Diseases?

When you think of blood infections, you likely think of sepsis (also referred to as blood poisoning), which can inhibit your body from fighting infection and lead to death if not promptly treated. However, sepsis is not the only disease that can affect your blood.

Bloodborne pathogens can cause infections and diseases including HIV, hepatitis, MRSA, and C. diff and can be transmitted through contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. Because these infections and diseases are difficult to treat, it’s important to learn what causes them and how to prevent them.

Sepsis and Other Blood Infections

The most common type of blood infection is known as sepsis, “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.”

In addition, there are several other prevalent bloodborne infections and diseases include:

  • MRSA
  • Dengue Fever
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis A, B, and C

What Causes Bloodborne Infections and Diseases?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms that are carried in human blood, and they are responsible for bloodborne infections and diseases. These microorganisms have the potential to pass from one person to another by various routes, such as blood transfusions, sexual intercourse, open wounds, mucous membranes, and more. 

“Infections can begin anywhere bacteria or other infectious agents can enter the body. It can result from something as seemingly harmless as a scraped knee or nicked cuticle or from a more serious medical problem such as appendicitis, pneumonia, meningitis, or a urinary tract infection (UTI)…

Although anyone can get [a bloodborne infection], certain groups are at greater risk, including:

  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Young babies
  • Elderly
  • People who have had invasive medical procedures
  • People with diabetes”

Preventing Bloodborne Infections and Diseases

It is important to remember that anyone can be exposed to potential bloodborne infections and diseases. If you are in a position where you need to clean up another person’s blood or body fluids, doing so could possibly put you at risk.

Even if you think you have safely removed all of the blood or fluids from the area, some viruses can remain dormant and reactivate when exposed to water, putting you or your family at risk later.

To ensure you are protecting yourself and your loved ones, contact a professional remediation company to properly disinfect areas affected by bloodborne infections and diseases. Aftermath provides blood cleanup, biohazard remediation and removal, and communicable disease disinfection services.

Our team of professionals are trained in bloodborne pathogens, safety equipment, and hazardous communications protocols, enabling us to perform effective and safe bloodborne pathogen cleanup. Contact Aftermath anytime for assistance.



OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/
Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health/septicemia#Overview1
National Institutes of Health: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/pages/factsheet_sepsis.aspx
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/sepsis-septicemia-blood-infection

Blood Poisoning – Sepsis – Symptoms

What is blood poisoning?

Blood poisoning (sepsis) has nothing to do with poison. Instead, it’s primary cause is the presence of germs, which enter your bloodstream from an infection elsewhere in your body. This can happen through wounds, burns, cuts, and scrapes. Bacteria can come from something as simple as a sinus infection. Although blood poisoning is often a result of a bacterial infection, even a COVID-19 viral infection can lead to sepsis as well as influenza and fungal infections. Any of these situations can lead to blood poisoning.

Untreated infection in the bloodstream can trigger sepsis. Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to a bacterial infection and is often a medical emergency. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Bacterial infections that lead to sepsis most often start in the lung, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Both blood poisoning requires immediate treatment. This is to prevent sepsis from infecting major organs, like the lungs, kidneys, and heart. Sepsis is unpredictable, aggressive, and progresses rapidly.

Anyone can get blood poisoning, but the risk is higher for:

  • Infants and young children (especially under 1 year of age)
  • Older people (65 years of age or older)
  • People who have a weakened immune system
  • People who have chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and AIDS
  • People who have just had surgery

Symptoms of blood poisoning

The symptoms of blood poisoning are similar to symptoms of a cold or the flu and may include:

  • Chills, shivering
  • Sudden fever (moderate to high temperature)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Heart palpitations (heart skips a beat or seems to flutter)
  • Low energy (more in children)
  • Irritability (more in children)

Additional symptoms that indicate sepsis, include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Clammy or sweaty skin

If you recently had surgery or a wound that could be infected, take these symptoms seriously. They could signal blood poisoning. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.

What causes blood poisoning?

Blood poisoning is most often caused by a bacterial infection entering your bloodstream. However, it also can be cause by some viral infections, such as COVID-19, influenza, and fungal infections. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream in multiple ways, including daily activities, such as brushing your teeth too vigorously. A simple dental cleaning can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream. This is true if you have certain risk factors. Risk factors include prior knee or hip replacement. It’s difficult for your body to clear bacteria around prosthetic devices. In dental visits, your dentist will have you take antibiotics before your appointment to prevent infection. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through a scraped knee or other wound. Urinary tract infections are a common source of blood poisoning. Even a sinus infection can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

Your immune system will eliminate small amounts of germs. When this doesn’t happen, it can cause blood poisoning. Too many germs can enter your bloodstream at once. Your immune system can’t keep up. This causes blood poisoning.

How is blood poisoning diagnosed?

Blood poisoning is diagnosed by examining a blood sample to find bacteria in the blood. Also, doctors check the number of white blood cells in the sample. If you suspect you have blood poisoning, call your doctor right away. Your doctor will examine you and order blood tests, if necessary.

If bacteria are in your blood, your doctor will identify the type of bacteria. If you have a cut or other wound on your body, your doctor may swab that area to collect bacteria.

Can blood poisoning be prevented or avoided?

To lower your risk of blood poisoning:

  • Take care of cuts and open wounds. Don’t let them become infected. Keep them clean. Treat them with antiseptic medicine or as directed by your doctor.
  • Get flu and pneumonia vaccines.
  • Don’t ignore a toothache. A tooth infection can cause blood poisoning. See your dentist before it becomes a bigger problem.
  • See your doctor for sinus and ear infections.
  • Be aware that infection can occur following surgery or a medical treatment.

Blood poisoning treatment

The treatment of blood poisoning often involves admission to a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) for those who are very sick. This is so that your doctor can give you antibiotics and other medicines intravenously and closely monitor your organ systems. Fast treatment is important. Blood poisoning can become a more serious case of sepsis. Sepsis is life-threatening. It damages vital organs. When blood poisoning is caught early and doesn’t do any serious damage, you can then be switched to oral antibiotics that you can take at home. These are usually in pill form.

Living with blood poisoning

Many people fully recover from blood poisoning. However, untreated blood poisoning or catching it too late can worsen is serious sepsis. When you have sepsis, damage to major organs may be irreversible. For example, kidney damage could lead to lifelong dialysis. Once you have had blood poisoning, you’re at higher risk for developing infections in the future.

Questions for your doctor

  • Am I in a high-risk group for blood poisoning?
  • Do all prosthetic devices increase your risk of infection?
  • Why are flu and pneumonia vaccines important in preventing blood poisoning?
  • Are certain blood types at a higher risk for blood poisoning?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sepsis

National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Sepsis

Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Blood diseases – Adamant Medical Clinic

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Blood diseases is a large and heterogeneous class of diseases that is associated with various malfunctions in the work or structure of blood cells – erythrocytes, platelets or leukocytes, an excessive increase or decrease in their number, problems with blood plasma. All blood diseases are extremely dangerous for the life and health of the patient. Untimely access to a doctor can lead to the impossibility of a complete cure and even death.

Types and symptoms of blood diseases

All diseases of the blood system are divided into 4 categories, depending on the damage to platelets, erythrocytes, leukocytes and plasma. In addition, their symptoms are not specific and most of them are characteristic of all categories of the disease to varying degrees.

Types of blood diseases:

  1. Platelet abnormalities

    Thrombocytopenia – a disease that is associated with an extreme decrease in blood platelets

    Causes: HIV, hepatitis, herpes and its complications, infectious mononucleosis.

    Symptoms: bruising on the arms, legs and body, bleeding disorders, causeless bleeding from the nose and mouth.

  2. Erythrocyte abnormalities

    Anemia – a disease associated with low hemoglobin content in the blood

    Causes: lack of iron and vitamin B12, may also develop due to heavy bleeding

    Symptoms: pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, general weakness, headache, loss of appetite, feeling short of breath, rapid heartbeat.

  3. Plasma anomalies

    Hemophilia is an incurable disease that is associated with blood incoagulability. Only men suffer.

    Causes: heredity, genetic predisposition.

    Symptoms: frequent unexplained bleeding that is difficult to stop due to extremely low blood clotting, bruises and bruises on the body.

  4. Leukocyte abnormalities

    Leukemia (leukemia, blood cancer) is a broad group of blood cancers. Initially, it occurs in the bone marrow, it is he who is responsible for the production of blood cells. As a result of the constant uncontrolled division of a cancer cell and its suppression of the growth and development of healthy ones, a malignant tumor is formed.

    The causes of are not exactly known. Suspected of smoking, exposure to radiation, prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, chemotherapy, Down’s syndrome, or heredity.

    General symptoms: swollen lymph nodes, decreased immunity, fever, impaired consciousness, joint pain, bleeding disorders, heaviness in the side, which is associated with an increase in the liver or spleen.

Diagnosis and treatment of blood diseases

Various blood tests for diseases are performed to establish the diagnosis:

  • general blood test – the cellular composition of the blood is studied;
  • myelogram – the cellular composition of the bone marrow puncture is studied;
  • immunohistochemistry in severe cases is a high-precision method that allows you to identify the nature of malignant tumors;
  • immunohematology analysis to determine the ratio of antibodies to erythrocytes in the blood;
  • the establishment of the group and the Rh factor, for this, appropriate analyzes are also used.

Each blood disease requires a special approach and a specific treatment system. After carrying out all the necessary tests, the doctor will make an individual therapy. The main methods of treating blood diseases are chemo- and radiotherapy and bone marrow transplantation (alogenous and autologous).

See also

  • Laparoscopy in the diagnostic center
  • Endoscopic surgery in St. Petersburg

Bloodborne infections

Bloodborne infections are infectious microorganisms and viruses in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, in particular, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These pathogens can be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids.

Contaminated needle sticks and other sharps injuries can expose workers to bloodborne pathogens. Workers in many occupations, including healthcare workers, nurses and other healthcare personnel, can all be at risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

Most bloodborne pathogens do not cause immediate illness, but they can still be transmitted to other people. In addition, some bloodborne pathogens can cause death.

If your employees are at risk of exposure to pathogens in a healthcare setting, you need our services. Learn more about occupational health and safety in medicine.

Common bloodborne pathogens

Hepatitis B and C viruses

Symptoms of hepatitis B and C include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and injury liver.

A hepatitis B vaccine is available. If you have not been previously vaccinated, your employer must provide you with a vaccine if you may be exposed to hepatitis B.


Symptoms of HIV infection can mimic many of the symptoms of the flu. However, common symptoms may include fatigue, changes in appetite, unexplained fever, and swollen glands. Moreover, HIV infection increases the risk of contracting other diseases and developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).