Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, invades the blood stream. There is usually bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura), and the tissue in these areas may die (become necrotic or gangrenous). If the patient survives, the areas heal with scarring. This picture demonstrates more hemorrhage and little tissue death.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.