Sepsis is a serious medical condition. It’s caused when the body starts releasing an overwhelming amount of immune chemicals into the bloodstream to combat an infection.
These chemicals trigger a widespread inflammation which leads to blood clots and leaky vessels.
This condition impairs blood flow, which in turn damages the organs due to the deprivation from nutrients and oxygen.
In severe cases, organs can fail, and the worst-case scenario is when the blood pressure drops and the heart weakens, thus spiraling the patient toward a septic shock.
During the septic shock, multiple vital organs may quickly fail and the patient can die. The mortality from sepsis increases by 8% for every delayed hour without treatment.
Doctors view sepsis as a three-stage condition (1. sepsis, 2. severe sepsis, 3. septic shock) and aim to treat it during its early stage, before the condition becomes more dangerous. The treatment is complicated and not always successful.
The current treatment involves broad-spectrum antibiotics, constant oxygen and intravenous fluids supply, and sometimes even mechanical ventilation, kidney dialysis, or surgery to clear a local site of infection.
The complexity of the therapy takes a lot of effort and incurs high costs, and the success rate is not very satisfactory.
It is currently one of the leading causes of death in the intensive care unit (ICU) and it’s also a leading cause of people being readmitted to hospital.
However, Dr. Paul Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care at Eastern Virginia Medical School, has found a treatment that has saved many lives in Norfolk General’s ICU since 2016. His discovery came as a result of a final effort to save Valerie Hobbs, 53.
Dr. Marik created a concoction, which he dubbed “the cure for sepsis”, and it is a simple combination of Vitamin C, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), and Hydrocortisone, a steroid which reduces inflammation.
Since he started using this “miracle juice”, the Norfolk General’s ICU saw the mortality rate in patients with sepsis drop from 40% in 2015 to only 8% in 2016.
The study that revealed these results also states that this treatment is effective even in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
However, in order for this to become regular practice in the ICUs worldwide, the study needs to surpass its limitations. The study compares the treatment of patients in 2015 to that in 2016 and it involves a small number of patients. Furthermore, all the cases were at one hospital.
While Dr. Marik agrees and wants there to be a comprehensive study, he also notes that it would be difficult to fund such study. “We are curing it for $60. No one will make any money off it,” says Marik, hinting to the pharmaceutical companies that usually fund such studies.
“By the time it’s done, it could be three years and the number of people who will die of sepsis by that time will be ginormous,” he adds.
This treatment will definitely save many lives and reduce the economic costs of the hospitals. Currently, the sepsis statistics worldwide are grim, and this could change very easily.
Sepsis.org reports that sepsis affects over 26 million people each year and kills over 5 million children each year. More than 1.6 million people are diagnosed with sepsis and every 2 minutes a person dies from sepsis in the U.S. alone, making it the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals.
It is the #1 cost of hospitalization in the U.S., costing the States more than $24 billion each year and is the #1 cause for readmissions to the hospital, additionally costing the U.S. more than $2 billion each year.
Source: The Virginian Pilot