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Bacteremia - Definition


Bacteremia refers to the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the blood. Bacteremia is not necessarily responsible for clinical signs, especially when its presence is transient. Sepsis, a term used less and less frequently, combines proven bacteremia (bacteria identified in blood cultures) and clinical manifestations of bacterial invasion. From now on, sepsis is known as the general inflammatory reaction to infection. Sepsis usually combines a body temperature above 100 degrees F or below 96 degrees F, chills, and sweats. In this case, the culture of a blood sample will enable the confirmation of bacteremia. Sepsis requires antibiotic therapy immediately after drawing blood to prevent the progression to septic shock, the severe form of bacteremia. Depending on the culture results, antibiotics can be changed.