What’re the symptoms and signs of bacteremia?
Usually, bacteremia that results from ordinary events such as dental procedures causes no symptoms. People with bacteremia from other causes sometimes have fever. If people with bacteremia have a fever, a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and multiple organ failures, sepsis is likely.
The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Bacteremia includes some symptoms listed below:
fever over 38.3°C
shortness of breath
How is bacteremia diagnosed?
The diagnosis of bacteremia is made from a blood culture, in which a sample of blood is allowed to incubate with a medium that promotes bacterial growth. This test requires 24 to 48 hours for the results to come back. Since blood is normally sterile, this process does not normally lead to the isolation of bacteria. If, however, bacteria are present in the bloodstream at the time the sample is obtained, the bacteria will multiply and can thereby be detected. Any bacteria that incidentally find their way to the culture medium will also multiply. For this reason, blood cultures must be drawn with great attention to sterile process. Occasionally, blood cultures will reveal the presence of bacteria that represent contamination from the skin through which the culture was obtained. Blood analysis may also reveal an elevated number of white blood cells. Blood pressure is monitored closely; a decline in blood pressure may indicate the onset of septic shock.