You can get sepsis from tonsillitis

Tonsillitis - possible complications

The ENT doctor can usually get a purulent tonsillitis under control with targeted antibiotic therapy. If the disease remains untreated or is dragged on, the risk increases that the inflammation will flare up again and again (recurrent tonsillitis) or become chronic (chronic tonsillitis).

Hearth infection

Chronically inflamed tonsils represent a permanent source of infection in the body and can therefore be the starting point for serious secondary diseases. If the streptococci spread in the body, this can lead to rheumatic fever, kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis), heart inflammation (endo-, myo-, pericarditis), or inflammation of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis). This can also result in permanent damage to the affected organs, such as a heart valve defect. These complications can be effectively prevented by surgical removal of the focus of inflammation (tonsillectomy).

Abscess formation

If the inflammation spreads into the surrounding connective tissue and forms a collection of pus there, it is called a peritonsillar abscess. In this case, a few days after acute tonsillitis, the fever rises again with unilateral difficulty swallowing, stitches in the ear and an obstructed mouth opening. Usually the abscess protrudes noticeably into the oral cavity. The uvula is swollen and bulges to the side (uvular edema).


If the pathogen gets into the bloodstream, there is a risk of life-threatening sepsis, also known colloquially as blood poisoning. The bacteria can be distributed throughout the body either via the small almond veins, via the draining lymphatic system, via an abscess or a phlegmon (a purulent infection of the soft tissues). Sepsis needs intensive medical treatment right away!