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.
Review Date 4/16/2019
Updated by: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.