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Are Sepsis and Septicemia The Same?

Sepsis and septicemia are terms associated with the same condition, but the words are the same. Sepsis is a condition where a localize infection causes a systemic response in the body.  It is defined by specific criteria such as an elevated temperature, elevated heart rate or abnormal blood test. If left untreated, sepsis may turn to septic shock, fatal in up to 40% of cases. Septicemia technically means an infection that spreads to the bloodstream. For this reason, septicemia is often called blood poisoning.  Frequently, a localized infection spreads to the bloodstream (septicemia) which causes a systemic reaction such as fever, elevated heart rate, drop in blood pressure (sepsis). Realize sepsis involves a constellation of symptoms. Fever alone or elevated heart rate alone do not define sepsis.

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