Bloodstream Infections: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bloodstream infections occur when the bacteria enters the blood causing bloodstream infection and this leads to the condition of Bacteremia. This may be caused through an infection, wound or through injections and surgical procedures.

The bacteria may enter the blood stream through the eyes, skin or mouth and when this bacteria multiplies and starts harming the body, it is called as an infection. The bacteria present in the digestive tract is known as Intestinal Flora and this causes severe infections in the bloodstream. This occurs during a surgery and is known as Bacterial Translocation.

Causes of Bloodstream Infections

Causes for bloodstream infections include:

  • Immunosuppression due to drug therapy or HIV infection
  • Prolonged or severe illness
  • Antibiotic therapy which can interfere with the balance of bacterial types present in the body
  • Malnutrition
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Drug therapy or diseases that cause ulcers in the stomach
  • Urinary tract infections and
  • Decubitus Ulcers

Symptoms of Bloodstream Infections

Some of the symptoms of blood stream infections include:

  • Chills
  • Fever over 101 degrees F
  • Abdominal pain
  • Malaise
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion and
  • Shortness of breath


Bloodstream infections can be identified by a blood test. A person suffering from bloodstream infections should maintain good personal hygiene during viral illness. This can help in reducing the risk of developing infections. Bacterial infections should be treated thoroughly and quickly minimizing the risk of spreading infection.

Bacteria in Bloodstream

  • Several kinds of bacteria live on the skin as well as the moist linings of the urinary tract, other internal surfaces and lower digestive tract.
  • Most of the time the bacteria present on the above mentioned areas is harmless and they are checked by immune system and the natural barriers present inside the body.
  • When the bacteria gets introduced directly to the circulatory system the immune system may not be able to cope up, developing the symptoms of bacteremia.’>

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