Bacteremia and sepsis are often used interchangeably: however, they are different terms. Bacteremia is a term referring to the presence of bacteria inside an individual’s blood. In some situations, bacteremia doesn’t cause any symptoms and doesn’t necessarily represent a major danger to the afflicted. For example, there are likely bacteria released locally into the bloodstream each time we brush our teeth.

Sepsis is a clinical condition involving bacteria in the blood as well, which is why it is commonly confused with bacteremia. However, sepsis also has a clinical component and involves inflammation of the body with a range of other symptoms, such as fever, confusion and rapid breathing.