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A 44-year-old member asked:

What are the differences between bacteremia and septicemia?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Garcia
Pediatrics 56 years experience
Septicemia: Bacteremia means presence of bacteria in the blood stream. Septicemia (also called sepsis) is a state of microbial invasion from a portal of entry into the blood stream which causes sign of illness. Fewer than half the patients with signs and symptoms of sepsis have positive results on blood culture. Furthermore, not all patients with bacteremia have signs of sepsis.
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Pulmonary Critical Care 22 years experience
They are different: Bacteremia is bacteria that is in the blood. Septicemia, or sepsis, is a total body reaction to an infection somewhere in the body. Many times, bacteremia can cause sepsis, but not always.
Dr. Michael Ein
Infectious Disease 48 years experience
Bacteria vs Toxins: Septicemia is defined as the presence of bacterial toxins in the blood stream while bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the blood stream.

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Last updated Sep 21, 2013

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