Septicemia is a form of sepsis characterized by the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or parasites in the bloodstream. In most cases, sepsis is set off by a reaction to dead white blood cells from an abcess but in septicemia it is set off by widespread systemic infection.
Treatment is largely supportive until the patient recovers from the infection. Fluids are administered to keep blood pressure normal. The underlying infection is treated with antibiotics. Plasmapheresis may be used to reduce the immune response.