Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis, invades the blood stream. Bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura) typically occurs and the tissue may die (become necrotic or gangrenous). If the patient survives, the areas heal with scarring.
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.