Diseases & Conditions


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Bacteremia


The presence of bacteria in the bloodstream, which is a common occurrence a few hours after minor surgery. It may also occur with such infections as TONSILLITIS. If a child’s immune system has been weakened, either by illness or by major surgery, the presence of bacteria in the blood may lead to SEPTICEMIA and shock. In those with abnormal heart valves because of rheumatic fever or a congenital defect, the bacteria may cause endocarditis. Bacteremia usually resolves without treatment. In children under the age of 24 months, bacteremia accounts for about 10 percent of all cases of fever over 101.3°F. If a child this age runs a fever without localized signs, a blood test is usually taken.