Sunday, May 9, 2010


i. What is the cause of the disease?

Septicemia is a systemic infection, usually caused by bacteria of various types contaminating a person’s blood. Infections of the mouth or teeth, when untreated by antibiotics, can cause septicemia. How? One serious complication can occur if a dentist initiates treatment of affected teeth, and there is an additional development of bacterial endocarditis (BE), which is a strep infection. The strep enters the blood stream and then cultivates inside the cardiac tissues creating blockages.

Infections of cuts or surgical wounds both carry a risk or developing septicemia. With a large cut or surgical wound, one has a slightly increased risk of septicemia, because blood loss lowers the body’s natural immunities.

Burns are another major causal factor in septicemia. Third degree burns are particularly vulnerable to infection, and the larger the burn, the greater the chance of infection. Often third degree burns damage the nerve endings of skin, causing people not to initially feel pain at the site of the burn. People may not notice initial infection of burns without visual inspection.

Another possible cause of septicemia is internal injury, such as a stomach injury after a car accident. Intestinal rupture, gall bladder disease and rupture of the appendix or spleen are indicated in septicemia as well. These ruptures very often are treated with antibiotics from the onset, since the blood is immediately exposed to high and dangerous bacteria levels. This is particularly of issue with intestinal perforations, which spill bowel contents into other parts of the body, causing almost immediate septicemia.

A partial miscarriage, or missed miscarriage can also result in septicemia, if pregnancy remains stay in the uterus and become infected. Virtually any internal infection more readily can become septicemia because of direct contact with blood cells.

Those who have autoimmune disorders are more prone to infections of all kinds, since they have weakened immune systems. People with diabetes tend to exhibit an overall higher risk for septicemia because they also lack the ability to heal from cuts. Diabetics with foot injuries are asked to be particularly watchful, as these injuries or even small cuts can be very susceptible to infection.


ii. How does the component of blood/ blood vessel affected in the disease?

Septicemia is a disease that originates from a severe penetration of micro-organisms or their toxic products into the blood.

Many germs are quite innocuous for human body if they remain on the surface or skin of the body. They are even beneficial to the body in some cases. But if they enter the blood stream, they may impose serious threat to the body by developing infection. When they enter the blood stream, they multiply and cause severe infection until the body’s immune or defense system itself counter and kill them.

When patient experiences low blood pressure leading to less amount of blood transportation into the organs, the condition is termed as Septic Shock.

The penetration of these germs or micro-organisms into the blood stream happens when any other infection in any body parts acts as an entry point for the germs. In other cases, inappropriate surgical procedures, knife or other wounds can become a pathway towards the infection.


  1. What is the function of the blood component/ structure in circulatory system?

Red blood cells:A major function of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to all the tissues from the lungs. The red blood cells than transport the carbon dioxide from the cells because of breaking down the nutrients.

white blood cells:They defend the body against bacteria and other enemies. The name white blood cells can be very misleading. The white blood cells are colorless. White blood cells come in many varieties. Each fights the body enemies in a different way. Some white blood cells produce antibodies, detoxify foreign substances, and digest bacteria.

Platelets:They are small fragments of cells that clump together and stick to inner surface of blood vessels to plug up leaks. The platelets release a substance for clotting of blood. The platelets cause the injured site to shrink and seal off.


  1. How does this blood component/ structure differ from the rest in the circulatory system?

Platelet:help to clot blood to prevent excessive blood loss

Red Blood Cells:carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues around the body

White Blood Cells: leave the blood vessels and enter the surrounding tissue by chemotactically attracting these white blood cells to the infection site and by triggering neutrophils to release killing agents for extracellular killing

  1. How will the absence of the blood component / structure affect the health of the patient?

Absence of Red blood cells - The patient will not be able to do major physical activities like running, swimming because he or she cannot take in much oxygen due to the deficiency of red blood cells

Absence of White blood cells - The patient will be sick for short intervals and long period of time as white blood cells kill foreign particles like bacteria, viruses and germs.

Absence of Platelets - The patient will have a great loss of blood when wounded or have a small cut because platelets help in clotting blood at wounded areas.

  1. How technology is used to facilitate the analysis of one’s state of health and improve one’s lifestyle?

For people living in the past, whenever someone has something stuck in his or her body, sometimes even the doctors themselves cannot decipher where exactly is that object. But now, technology is more advanced and we have the x-ray machine. Just a scan and you can tell where that particular object is. Not only an x-ray machine. Now, we can tell the pulse of the patient when he or she is in coma or having an operation. It makes our lifestyle much easier than in the past.

  1. How technology is used to save lives with respect to the disease investigated?


Septicemia is a serious condition that requires a hospital stay. You may be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).

Fluids and medicines are given by an IV to maintain the blood pressure.

Oxygen will be given. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.

Plasma or other blood products may be given to correct any clotting abnormalities.


Pictures and Videos


Picture from:

Done by: Carisa, Su En, Shamemi, Jaime, Priyanka, Pei Shan, Yi Lin, Teoh Yun.

1 comment:

  1. I did not know that by this disease, strep enters the blood stream .