The symptoms of blood poisoning in humans: how to identify sepsis

When injected into the blood of bacterial, fungal flora for the person to develop sepsis – a systemic response of the inflammatory type. A significant component of the pathological process – microbial toxins that start the chain of damage in the body. The symptoms of blood poisoning in humans cause Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and less Streptococcus pneumoniae, fungi, Proteus. The source of infection of blood – purulent lesion of any location, but can sometimes be cryptogenic sepsis, when the input gate is not identified.

Symptoms of sepsis in adults and children

Symptoms of blood infection in humans depend on the type of pathogen causing bacteremia, massiveness and duration of infection, immune status. Identify the main symptoms:

  • tachycardia (rapid heart rate);
  • tachypnoea (shortness of breath);
  • violation of thermoregulation (temperature is elevated or below normal);
  • hypotension (low blood pressure);
  • signs of intoxication (headache, muscle, joint pain);
  • severe weakness, muscle atony.

When sepsis develops disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), dramatically reduced the number of platelets, laboratory examination reveals leukocytosis, increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, lymphopenia. Increasing the percentage of immature forms of neutrophils, which indicates a significant load on the hematopoietic function. The main diagnostic criterion of sepsis – the presence of bacteria in the blood, previously this condition was called «dirty blood».


Bacterial infection of the blood without the development of septic foci is called septicemia. The process is always acute, fulminant, manifested by hyperthermia, a person is disturbed consciousness. A major component of the inflammatory process is toxic due to the release into the blood large quantities of microbial protein antigen. Suffer the walls of blood vessels, increasing their permeability, edema of tissues. Systemic vasculitis can cause the development of hemorrhagic syndrome. Interstitial inflammation of the internal organs leads to multiple organ failure.

Of septicopyemia

The main symptom of blood poisoning, accompanied by septicopyemia are purulent «metastases». The disease may take a chronic character (chronostasis). Suffer lymph nodes up to purulent fusion. Characterized by purulent phlebitis in the area of the primary lesion, lymphangitis. Appear foci of suppuration in the course of the venous network, the first affected lung parenchyma. Further involved the liver, bone marrow, kidneys, without treatment, developing abscesses, cellulitis bodies. The temperature in sepsis with pyemia may not be increased.

Sepsis in newborns

Blood poisoning is possible in utero, during childbirth, after the baby is born. Bacterial flora is able to pass through the placental defense, so the infection of the mother threatens the development of sepsis in the fetus. The passage of the baby through the birth canal accompanied by trauma, they can become a gateway for infection. Inflamed umbilical wound is a frequent source of septic complications, a possible cause of umbilical sepsis.

The symptoms of infection are manifested by lethargy, pallor, refusal to suckle. Reduced activity of movements, the volume of crying. The baby often spits up, not gaining weight. Observed grey skin tone on the upper lip, the blue of the nail bed. Further development of symptoms often occurs with lightning speed, the condition worsens rapidly, dominated by signs of hemodynamic instability, impaired consciousness.

The causes of infection

The most frequent sepsis – wound. Hit in a wound of several types of pathogens increases the risk of development of purulent complications. Early symptom of blood poisoning in humans is an inflammation of lymphatic and venous vessels around the primary lesion, it is a sign of the spreading inflammation. Severe different fungal sepsis, which often develops with a deficit of immunity. The fungus in the blood poorly to drug therapy. Burns, especially deep, often complicated by suppuration, threatening septic process.

The cause of odontogenic sepsis – unhealthy teeth. Pulpitis, dental abscess, maxillary osteomyelitis, suppurative lesions of the gums can worsen sepsis. Primary infectious focus can be purulent otitis media, which develops otogenny sepsis. Input gates are often boils, skin ulcerations, trophic ulcers. During abdominal surgical procedures occasionally infection by opportunistic bacteria, depressed immunity develops sepsis or surgical operations.

The consequences

Septic infection requires intensive multimodality treatment, including powerful anti-microbial therapy, detoxification activities. Sepsis affects many structures of the body, the symptoms disappear slowly, purulent lesions resolve for a long time. Possible complications of the kidneys (nephritis, cortical necrosis), nervous system (polyneuropathy, encephalopathy). Life threatening the patient’s persistent hypotension, heart failure, infectious-toxic shock, multiple organ pathology.

Video about the signs of blood poisoning in humans

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