Septicemia is a serious, rapidly progressing, life-threatening infection that can arise secondary to localized infections of the respiratory, genitourinary or gastrointestinal tract, or from the skin.

It may precede or coincide with infections of the bone, central nervous system or other tissues; it can rapidly lead to septic shock and death, being associated with organisms such as meningococci that can lead to shock, adrenal collapse and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Onset of septicemia is heralded by spiking fevers and chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, the outward appearance of being seriously ill (toxic) and a feeling of impending doom. These symptoms rapidly progress to shock with decreased body temperature (hypothermia), falling blood pressure, confusion or other changes in the mental status, and clotting abnormalities evidenced by hemorrhagic lesions in the skin.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Septicemia

Symptoms - Metabolic  

Having chills from an illness


Having a high fever

Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Metabolic  

Absence of 'chills'

Risk factors for Septicemia

Organ Health  

Consequences of Splenectomy

Certain bacteria, including pneumococcus and hemophilus, that are usually confined to local infections may become blood-borne (septic) and widespread in splenectomized persons. To avoid this potentially fatal situation, they are usually instructed to seek medical attention promptly for all fevers or obvious infections.


Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Strongly counter-indicative



Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Nervous System

A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.


Abnormally low body temperature.


Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.

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