The rash has many stages and forms
The bacteria leak poisons which damage the walls of the
blood vessels, so the blood leaks into the skin causing
It may start off anywhere on the body as a faint
pink rash, a red spot or blister, or as tiny red or purple
glass test, or pressure test a septicaemic rash usually
does not fade under pressure. (Not 100% reliable.)
Failure of blood circulation to the extremities of the body
can result in loss of fingers, toes and limbs. Robert (seen
here at 18 months) was lucky to survive with limbs intact.
appearance of the distinctive rash often one of the
final symptoms of deadly septicemia means that immediate
medical treatment is vital. However, dont assume that
because theres no rash, theres no urgency - and
dont let your doctor or hospital staff assume that either!
In fact, you may not see a rash at all and if you wait
until you do, it may well be too late to stop the progress
of the disease.
What causes the rash?
happens when the bacteria multiply in the blood vessels, and
release toxins, or poisons. These damage the blood vessels,
so the blood can leak through into the tissues underneath
the skin. It can start off either as a pink rash, or as tiny
red or purple blood spots, like pin-pricks, anywhere on the
body which rapidly spread into purple blotches or bruises.
The victim can literally bleed to death if not treated in
How it starts
could start off just as a faint pink rash, as a red or purple
spot or blotch, or as pinpricks on the skin. Often people
mistake the early signs of the rash for a common ailment
such as a blister, a scratch, a bite mark, a bruise, or even
an ingrown hair.
the final, critical stage, it spreads rapidly into purple
bruises, or haemorrhages, which cover the body. The person
can go into shock, their blood pressure falls and circulation
fails in the body extremities the fingers, toes and
limbs. Amputations or death may be a result.
The glass test
doctors and Foundations refer to the drinking glass
or pressure' test pressing a clear tumbler firmly
against the rash, to see if it fades under pressure (like
a harmless rash does), or stays red, indicating a septicemic
The concern with this test is that it is not 100% reliable,
especially in the early stages, and can give you a false sense
of security. You need to keep testing at regular intervals.
However if a rash appears, along with other symptoms, it's
wise not to wait around trying to diagnose it yourself, but
go straight to a doctor or hospital.