Medical Q&As

Septicaemia/Meningitis - same thing?

I was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks with septicaemia when I was 10-years-old. Does this mean I had a form of meningitis? Also, would I have received blood transfusions or would my own blood just have been tested to see if it was still infected?

The term septicaemia is commonly referred to as blood poisoning. It can happen in association with meningitis but there are many other causes apart from meningitis. Septicaemia usually begins with a primary source of infection. For example the bacteria from a severe pneumonia could spill into the circulatory system allowing the bacteria to be dispersed throughout the body. A similar process can happen with meningitis. You may have had meningitis as a child but the essential point I am making is that the terms meningitis and septicaemia are not synonymous. With regard to the second part of your question it is most unlikely that you would have received a blood transfusion as part of your treatment. It is far more likely that you would have undergone frequent blood testing in order to establish the precise identity of the bacteria causing your infection and also to monitor your response to treatment. For a fuller description of the topic septicaemia you might like to check the following link: http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=1908