Bacteremia is a very serious medical condition that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream of the human body. The early symptoms are common and may not alarm the patient but once the disease is confirmed, the person must seek medical help immediately since it can turn to a life threatening situation. However, not all bacteremia cases become that severe. Following is a list of causes:
- Intense brushing of the teeth. This activity, when done with exaggerating force, injures the gums and allows the bacteria located around the gums to enter the blood flow. Even though this happens frequently, an infection is very unlikely to occur.
- Digestion. In this case, bacteria enter the blood during food digestion. Just like the previous cause, the possibility of a blood infection is extremely low.
- Dental and medical procedures. During tooth feeling or other dental treatments, large amounts of bacteria located on the gums or tooth cavities detach and may enter the bloodstream. This is the reason behind the administration of antibiotics to the overwhelming majority of people undergoing this type of operations. Placing a catheter is another potential activity that could cause bacteremia even when it is perfectly sterilized.
- Needles used for recreational drugs usage. Bacteremia is another one of the many dangers that can be caused by the aforementioned activity since they are infected with tons of bacteria most of the time.
- Pneumonia. Scientists have documented a number of cases in which bacteria from the lungs, the one that caused pneumonia in the first place, enter the blood flow and cause bacteremia.
There are no symptoms when the disease derives from everyday activities. However, signs like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling of intense pain in the abdomen, fever, chills and low blood pressure may indicate sepsis, an extremely serious and possibly fatal effect of bacteremia.
All it takes to detect the presence of the disease is an ordinary blood culture exam. In some cases, doctors take additional samples from the person’s sputum or urine.
Both the prevention and treatment of the medical condition require antibiotics given to the patients or the people in risk of infection. The treatment of the advanced effect of bacteremia, sepsis, is also treated with the proper antibiotic medicines.
Once again, the advancements and breakthroughs of modern medicine have managed to allow the detection and treatment of a disease that can become extremely dangerous and lethal if not treated in its early stages.