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How can you get blood poisoning?

By July 16, 2014 - 4:09pm
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Is blood poisoning contagious? Genetic? How does one get blood poisoning?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Michael

Thanks for your question! 

Blood poisoning is not genetic and is not contagious. It is an illness due to an infection or its toxin spreading through the bloodstream. The presence of bacteria in the blood is called bacteremia.

It can be caused by open wounds or other infections in the body (like a urinary tract infection) and is a very serious condition. 

Other risk factors include: 

These factors increase your chance of getting sepsis:

  • Recent illness or hospital care
  • Frail health due to extreme age
  • Poorly working immune system due to:
    • Cancer orchemotherapyfor treatment of cancer
    • Diabetes
    • AIDSor another immunosuppressive condition such as an autoimmune disease or an immune deficiency
    • Immunosuppressive medications needed after a transplant
  • Medical treatment with an invasive device
  • IV drug abuse

If you suspect you or someone you know has this kind of poisoning, get them to a hospital straight away.  Blood poisoning can be deadly. 

Here is what to look out for: 

  • Fever and chills
  • Low temperature
  • Paleness of skin color
  • Listlessness
  • Changes in mental status
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased urine output
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shock
  • Problems with bleeding or clotting

For lots more information, click here: 


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July 21, 2014 - 12:57pm
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