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A life-threatening bacterial INFECTION that invades the BLOOD circulation, resulting in spreading the infection throughout the body. Septicemia, also called bacteremia, typically arises as a complication of localized bacterial infection. The onset and progression are rapid and can result in septic SHOCK, ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME (ARDS), and death within hours.
Treatment requires hospitalization, usually in an intensive care unit, with administration of intravenous ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS as well as other medications to sustain vital functions such as HEART RATE and BLOOD PRESSURE. People who recover from septicemia tend to have a long path of recuperation before they are able to return to regular activities.