The key difference between sepsis and septicemia is that sepsis is the body’s response to an infection when the immune system triggers an extreme or dangerous response, while septicemia is a bacterial infection that spreads in the bloodstream.
The presence of pathogenic bacteria in the body causes severe infections such as septicemia. Such infections trigger a series of immune responses throughout the body. This causes systemic inflammation known as sepsis. The inflammation causes blood clotting and blocks the flow of oxygen reaching the vital organs in the body. This results in organ failure and causes a septic shock in many cases, and eventually causes death.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is an infectious condition that arises in the body due to an immune response against an infection. The initial stage of sepsis is the suppression of the immune system. Symptoms of sepsis include high fever, increased heart rate, change in mental status, and increased breathing rate. Sepsis causes an extreme response in the body, which rapidly leads to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis leads to a septic shock, which causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and causes severe organ problems leading to death. Therefore, immediate treatment with antibiotics and intravenous fluids enhances the survival rate. Sepsis is caused by any type of microorganism, including bacterial, viral, or fungi. Infections in the lungs, urinary tract, skin, gastrointestinal tract, bloodstream, catheter site, wounds, and burns usually cause sepsis.
Several factors such as old age, infancy, chronic kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, compromised immune system, unsterilized medical equipment, and longer stay in hospitals also increase the risk of sepsis. Sepsis causes complications in the brain, heart, kidney and may also cause abnormalities in blood flow, which will eventually damage and destroy tissues, blood vessels, and organs in the body.
What is Septicemia?
Septicemia is an infection that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread throughout. Gram-negative bacteria mainly cause septicemia. It is common in hospitalized patients or those who have other medical complications. Septicemia is also called blood poisoning. The most common bacteria that cause septicemia are Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and E. coli. Septicemia eventually leads to a septic shock if it is not treated immediately. It causes organ failure, tissue damage, and even death. Common causes for septicemia are tooth abscess, unsterilized medical tools and equipment, kidney and urinary tract infections, pneumonia, skin ulcers, and wounds. Symptoms of septicemia include high fever, muscle fatigue, weakness, chills, severe sweating, and sudden drop in blood pressure.
Septicemia is easily diagnosed by the presence of symptoms or blood tests to detect microorganisms. Septicemia is treated through antibiotics depending on the type of microorganism causing the infection. Another treatment of septicemia includes draining blood and fluid from the infected area. The risk of septicemia is reduced by getting appropriate vaccines on time, keeping wounds covered and clean, and following proper health guidelines.
What are the Similarities Between Sepsis and Septicemia?
- Sepsis and septicemia are associated with systemic infections.
- Moreover, they can damage organs and tissues in the body
- Complications of both conditions include septic shock and death.
- Risks of sepsis and septicemia can be reduced by following proper health and hygienic guidelines.
What is the Difference Between Sepsis and Septicemia?
Sepsis is the response of the body to an infection when the immune system triggers an extreme reaction. Septicemia is a bacterial infection that spreads in the bloodstream, causing blood poisoning. Thus, this is the key difference between sepsis and septicemia. Moreover, sepsis can be caused by any infectious agent, while septicemia is primarily caused by bacteria.
The below infographic presents the differences between sepsis and septicemia in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Sepsis vs Septicemia
Sepsis is an infectious condition that arises in the body due to an immune response against infection such as septicemia. Septicemia is an infection that occurs when a bacterium enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout. Gram-negative bacteria mainly cause septicemia. Both scenarios are common in hospitalized patients, and if left untreated, it may lead to septic shock and eventually death. So, this summarizes the difference between sepsis and septicemia.