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Classification & external resources
ICD-9 038.42

Pyaemia (or pyemia) is a type of septicaemia that leads to widespread abscesses and is usually caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. Apart from the distinctive abscesses, pyaemia exhibits the same symptoms as other forms of septicaemia. It was almost universally fatal before the introduction of antibiotics.

Sir William Osler included a three-page discussion of pyaemia in his textbook The Principles and Practice of Medicine, published in 1892. He defined pyaemia as follows:

"A general disease, characterized by recurring chills and intermittent fever and the formation of abscesses in various parts, all of which result from the contamination of the blood by products arising from a focus contaminated by the bacteria of suppuration."

Earlier still, Ignaz Semmelweis included a section entitled "Childbed fever is a variety of pyaemia" in his treatise, The Etiology of Childbed Fever (1861). Jane Grey Swisshelm, in her autobiography entitled Half a Century, describes the treatment of pyaemia in 1862 during the American Civil War.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pyaemia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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