Bloodstream Infections - Symptoms, causes and treat

Blood stream infection is entrybacteria or fungito in the bloodstream and causing symptoms in the form of fever, chills, weakness, or a drop in blood pressure. Blood stream infections can be caused by: some conditions and need to be treated ASAP.

Blood stream infections are divided into primary bloodstream infections and secondary bloodstream infections. Primary bloodstream infections occur without any other source of infection other than the blood, while secondary blood infections are infections that occur due to infections in other body parts that enter the bloodstream.

Causes of bloodstream infections

Blood stream infections are most often caused by bacteria. Some types of bacteria that can cause bloodstream infections are: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis.

In addition, fungal infections, such as fungi from group Candida, can also cause bloodstream infections.

If divided according to the source, bloodstream infections can be divided into 2 types, namely:

Primary bloodstream infection

Primary bloodstream infection is defined as infection that occurs directly in the bloodstream within the blood vessels. Primary bloodstream infection must be confirmed by the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the bloodstream, in the absence of infection in other organs or tissues of the body.

Generally, this condition is associated with the placement of a blood vessel catheter, so it is often referred to as catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) and ccentral line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABS).

Secondary bloodstream infection

A secondary bloodstream infection is an infection of another organ or tissue that spreads to the bloodstream. Some infectious diseases that often trigger secondary bloodstream infections are:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Peritonitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Meningitis

A person is at risk for a secondary bloodstream infection if:

  • Have a weak immune system
  • Not getting proper treatment for the infectious disease he is experiencing
  • Very young or over 65 years old

Symptoms of bloodstream infection

Symptoms of bloodstream infections are generally similar to the symptoms of infectious diseases in general, including:

  • Fever and chills
  • fast breath
  • Heart pounding
  • Sweaty body
  • Tired and limp

When to go to the doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience the above symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with an infectious disease, have regular check-ups to prevent the spread of infection.

Diagnosis of bloodstream infection

The doctor will ask the patient's complaints and medical history. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination, including checking vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse.

Blood stream infection will be confirmed by laboratory tests. Laboratory tests are performed to check for the presence of bacteria or microorganisms in the bloodstream. Some types of laboratory tests that will be carried out are:

  • Blood culture, to assess the type of microorganism that causes bloodstream infection
  • Blood test, to check whether there is infection in the blood

In addition, if it is suspected that you have a secondary bloodstream infection due to the spread of infection in other parts of the body, the doctor will perform several other tests, such as urine tests, X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.

Bloodstream Infection Treatment

Treatment of bloodstream infections aims to relieve symptoms while preventing complications. The type and length of treatment will depend on the cause and severity of the infection.

Medications used to treat bloodstream infections include:

  • Antibiotics given by injection to treat the bacteria that cause infection
  • Medications to relieve fever and pain, such as paracetamol
  • Vasoactive drugs to increase blood pressure

In addition, if it is caused by the use of a vascular catheter, replacement and adjustment of the use of the catheter will be made to treat bloodstream infections.

Complications of bloodstream infection

Infections of the bloodstream can cause infections in other parts and organs of the body. If the infection spreads throughout the body (sepsis) and causes disruption of circulation or blood flow, septic shock can occur. Septic shock is a dangerous condition and requires immediate treatment.

In addition, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can occur, if a bloodstream infection causes sepsis and damages the respiratory system.

Prevention of bloodstream infections

To prevent bloodstream infections, there are several steps that can be taken, namely:

  • Keep your hands clean and wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, or with hand sanitizer.
  • Check with your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection.
  • Follow the advice and therapy given by the doctor until the infectious disease is completely cured.
  • Do not use syringes or injecting drugs carelessly.
  • Carry out mandatory vaccinations according to the schedule.