How to Tell if You Have a Blood Infection

September 16, 2022
3 Min Read
How to Tell if You Have a Blood Infection

Blood infections, also known as sepsis, can be fatal if not treated immediately. This is why it’s crucial to know the warning signs of sepsis and how to stop it in its tracks. Blood infections occur when your body is experiencing a severe reaction to an illness. People 65 or younger than 1 are more at risk for sepsis than others. If you can spot the warning signs of a blood infection quickly, it can potentially save your life.  

Blood Infection Symptoms

Blood infections are typically the last thing we think about when we’re sick. However, certain groups are more at risk for sepsis than others. Those immunocompromised, have diabetes, were recently hospitalized, or have preexisting conditions are susceptible to blood infections. Doctors will typically monitor patients who present a higher risk for sepsis. But knowing the symptoms of a blood infection could save a life.

Some symptoms associated with blood infections or sepsis are:

  • Severe pain in the body
  • Rash or blotchy skin
  • Sweaty or clammy skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Low body temperature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart-rate
  • Fatigue or confusion

Sepsis can be extremely dangerous if not treated immediately, and blood infections require hospitalization to ensure a full recovery. If you or a loved one is displaying these symptoms, please go to the hospital directly.

Treatment for Poisoning or Infection in the Blood

If a patient does have a blood infection, they’ll be taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). A medical team will work to prevent the disease from spreading further, manage blood pressure, and maintain organ function. Patients with sepsis will likely be put on intravenous fluids (IV) and may even need a machine to help with breathing.

If a blood infection is caught on time in its early stages, patients will be put on broad-spectrum antibiotics. Once the cause of sepsis is identified, medication will be used to target the specific bacteria or virus.

In more severe cases of sepsis, kidney dialysis or surgery may be required to clear out the remaining infection.

What Causes for Blood Infections?

Bacterial infections are usually to blame as the cause of blood infections. If bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi enter the body and spread into the bloodstream, sepsis may occur. In this case, it’s more likely that immunocompromised patients are more at risk for sepsis.

Sepsis may also occur as a result of rare bone infections. This is known as osteomyelitis, which is more likely for people already hospitalized. It’s possible for bacteria to enter through surgical wounds, IV lines, catheters, or bed sores.

In most cases, blood infections are preventable. You can take proper precautions against sepsis by frequently washing your hands, vaccinating, thoroughly cleaning injuries, and keeping up with doctor visits.

Diagnosis for a Blood Infection

To accurately diagnose a blood infection, a doctor will run some tests and physical examinations to accurately diagnose a blood infection. They’ll look for surefire signs such as:

  • Bacteria in the blood or other bodily fluids
  • High or low white blood cell count
  • A low number of blood platelets
  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney or liver issues
  • Lack of oxygen reaching your blood
  • Acidosis, too much acid in your blood

X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT Scans may be performed to diagnose a blood infection.

BASS Medical is Here to Help

BASS Medical is proud to provide high-quality care to the community. If you want to take preventive measures against sepsis, we’re here to help. We offer a range of services and specialized care. Call (925) 350-4044 to schedule your appointment today.