How Do You Treat Septicemia? Dr. Norman Swan

patient
Septicemia can be treated effectively if detected early. By taking your blood cultures doctors can identify what antibiotics will work best on your condition and provide a number of other medical procedures to ensure you are treated fully.

The treatment of septicemia, the core treatment, is antibiotics. And what you do is, you take blood cultures. In other words, you remove blood from the person and you culture it in the laboratory to see what bugs might be there and what antibiotics are best to treat the infection.

But because septicemia can be so serious, you would institute, if you like, the best guess as to what the antibiotics are that you should use. So they use very strong antibiotics. Maybe in combination, maybe one or two antibiotics, to cover the broad spectrum of bugs that it could be, and hit you hard with that, usually intravenously, and then wait until the lab results come back. When the lab results come back, they may change the antibiotics that you need.

If your blood pressure is low, they may put up a drip. They may give you other drugs to lift your blood pressure. There’s all sorts of other things that you may need with septicemia to actually prevent very serious illness. And that’s usually done in an intensive care unit.

But if you get onto it early, you can treat septicemia very effectively.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

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