Alternative Names: Septicemia. The term septicemia is no longer used by the consensus committee.
Sepsis is a serious, rapidly progressing, life-threatening infection that can arise secondary to localized infections of the respiratory, genitourinary or gastrointestinal tract, or from the skin. It may precede or coincide with infections of the bone, central nervous system or other tissues.
Certain bacteria, including pneumococcus and hemophilus, that are usually confined to local infections may become blood-borne (septic) and widespread in splenectomized persons. To avoid this potentially fatal situation, they are usually instructed to seek medical attention promptly for all fevers or obvious infections.