OverviewMeningococcemia 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.
Update Date 10/30/2013
Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.