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A 21-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between bacteremia, septicemia, and sepsis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Walsh
Addiction Medicine 17 years experience
Terminology: Bacteremia describes the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream - this may or may not make you ill (e.g. You are briefly bacteremic after brushing your teeth, but your body clears it). Septicemia is multiplication of bacteria in the blood (almost always associated with illness... But not always), and sepsis is the systemic response to infection.
Dr. Michael Ein
Infectious Disease 48 years experience
See below: Bacteremia means having bacteria in the blood stream. Septicemia means invasion of the blood stream by microorganisms accompanied by chills, fever and prostration. Sepsis is sirs or systemic inflammatory response syndrome which is 2 or more of fever, rapid pulse, rapid respirations and elevated white count when they are caused by an infection.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What are some of the differences between bacteremia and sepsis or septicemia?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Infectious Disease 49 years experience
Bacteremia is...: The presence of bacteria in the bloodstream with or without symptoms (it can certainly be silent). Sepsis or septicemia is the reaction of the body to bacteremia with fever and effects on various body organs. The sepsis syndrome can also be caused by non infectious processes.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What is difference between septicemia, sepsis, and bacteremia?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Taylor
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Sepsis: Sepsis is the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (sirs) plus infection-any infection (most commonly pneumonia or uti). Bacteremia is bacteria in the bloodstream; bacteremia can be a cause of sepsis. Some people consider septicemia & bacteremia synonyms; others consider septicemia & sepsis synonyms. This can be confusing, so many prefer not to use the term 'septicemia' at all anymore.
CA
A 37-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between septicemia and sepsis?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Same thing mostly: Septicemia as a term generally implies that there has been confirmed to be the presence of bacteria or other micobial agents present in the blood. Sepsis is generally a syndrome of severe vascular compromise. However, generally speaking the two terms are used interchangably.

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Last updated Jul 9, 2020

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