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Causes of Septicemia in Elderly & Its Symptoms, Treatment

Also known as blood poisoning, septicemia in elderly is a serious infection which can adversely affect overall health. In contrast to the name, there is nothing poisonous about this infection except that it indeed is very harmful. It must be medically diagnosed and treated in time to prevent complications. It is important to understand the causes of septicemia in elderly, its symptoms and treatment.

Septicemia in elderly is considered as poisonous because of life threatening complications that it can lead to. The occurrence of these cases has been rising in the recent times. Septicemia in elderly is also known as sepsis with some specific causes and symptoms.

What is Septicemia in Elderly?

Septicemia in elderly is a medical condition, which can be resolved if properly diagnosed and treated in time. If not, it can potentially dangerous owing to its possible complications. In this condition, the blood gets affected by bacteria, which is also known as bacteremia. Knowing the causes and symptoms of septicemia in elderly can help to seek timely medical treatment.

Septicemia in elderly is a highly toxic condition in which the immunity of the body is affected and it overworks itself to fight any sort of infection. Large numbers of chemicals are released in the body which can lead to inflammation, which can further complicate and result in organ failure. Organ damage resulting from septicemia can be treated with the help of medications and treatments available.

What is Septicemia in Elderly?

What are the Causes of Septicemia in Elderly?

Causes of septicemia in elderly are many and some of them along with the associated risk factors are as given below.

  • Weak immunity can make you prone to infections like septicemia.
  • Those who have suffered major burns.
  • Those who are suffering from some critical disease.
  • People who are very young or very old usually suffer from this septicemia disease.
  • People who are using the devices such as breathing tubes and catheters.
  • Due to infection, many illnesses can be caused.
  • Depression and severe trauma.

The main causes of septicemia in elderly is the possibility of infection and sepsis. This also leads to blood poisoning which can become a lot more problematic and will result in some ailments that you can make you suffer for long.

People with high level of sugar in their body may be at greater risk of sepsis, also due to delayed healing. Hence people with diabetes, healing disorders and circulatory problems need to be more careful.

What are the Symptoms of Septicemia in Elderly?

Some of the commonest symptoms of septicemia in elderly include the following.

  • You may feel feverish and may suffer from a high temperature.
  • Your heart rate will be higher than usual.
  • Breathing rate will also be higher than 20 breaths per minute.
  • Heart infection is bound to occur.
  • When a person is suffering from severe sepsis the following symptoms can prop up:
  • You may face problems in breathing.
  • Alteration in mental and thinking capacity.
  • Skin will get discolored.
  • You will have an increased tendency to urinate.
  • Number of blood cells will also decrease in the body.
  • One becomes extremely weak.
  • Fainting becomes a common thing.
  • Fever chills.

Septicemia in elderly can be a greater problem in case of low blood pressure, which can result in septic shock. Considering the risk factors and causes of septicemia in elderly, history of the person needs to be understood well. As sepsis is often a result of infection, injury or an underlying condition, symptoms of septicemia in elderly may revolve around these problems. Symptoms of persistent high blood sugar levels, non-healing wounds, skin lesions, ulcers or infection of any kind, which is not diagnosed or treated in time, must be taken into account.

What is the Treatment of Septicemia in Elderly?

Treatments of septicemia are available which can effectively treat the condition with medications can prove to have a long lasting effect on your overall health. Hence, it is necessary to consult your physician without any delay. Also, in certain complaints, immediate medical attention may be required to prevent permanent damage.

Septicemia is diagnosed through urine test and x-ray, and the treatments are as follows:

  • Using antibiotics.
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain-killer medications.
  • Steroids injection to reduce the inflammation in your body.
  • Insulin injections to stabilize the blood sugar level.
  • Medication for increasing the blood pressure.
  • Medications to improve the immunity.

Treatment aims at controlling the symptoms of septicemia in elderly and preventing complications. Apart from medical treatment and depending on the severity of symptoms, advanced treatments may be considered. Treatment may be needed to prevent organ damage, to prevent hemorrhage and clotting inside the body. In some cases, surgical treatment may be required.

Seeking medical advice in time can help protect organs and ensure better recovery. Considering the aging process in the elderly, medications and lifestyle changes must be followed according to the medical advice given.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 17, 2023

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