Doctor Discovers Easy Treatment For Deadly Sepsis: Trying to Get ICU World to Listen
The results of sepsis are deadly, causing blood pressure to tank, organs to fail and breathing to crash, but Dr. Paul Marik has made a simple discovery that could change the world.
In fact, sepsis kills more people in the hospital than any other disease.
Dr. Marik treats all of his sepsis patients with a vitamin C infusion. So far, he’s treated about 150 patients, and only one has died of sepsis.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life! Here is the story from PilotOnline:
The patient was dying.
Valerie Hobbs, 53, was in the throes of sepsis – an infection coursing through her veins that was causing her blood pressure to tank, her organs to fail and her breathing to flag.
“When you have a person that young who’s going to die, you start thinking, ‘What else can we pull out of the bag?’ ” said Dr. Paul Marik, who was on duty that day in the intensive care unit of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
In this case, he reached for Vitamin C.
Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care at Eastern Virginia Medical School, had recently read medical journal articles involving the vitamin, and decided to order IV infusions of it, along with hydrocortisone, a steroid, to reduce inflammation.
Then, he went home.
The next morning, Hobbs had improved so much she was removed from four different medications used to boost her blood pressure. Her kidney function was better. Her breathing eased.
Three days later, she left the ICU.
That was in January 2016. Today, Hobbs is back at her home in Norfolk.
“At first we thought it was a coincidence, that maybe the stars aligned just right and she got lucky,” Marik said.
Ten days later, another patient, a paraplegic, arrived in the ICU with sepsis, and Marik prescribed the same thing. That patient improved as well.
A third patient, a man so sick with pneumonia he was on a ventilator, also received the treatment. The results were the same.
Marik’s response: “What just happened?”
He suggested changing the protocol for patients who arrived with sepsis. He also added another ingredient to the concoction: thiamine, which is Vitamin B.
An effective treatment for sepsis would be a really big deal.
150 patients, and only one has died of sepsis is phenomenal, considering that of the million Americans a year who get sepsis, about 300,000 die.
“So that’s the equivalent of three jumbo jets crashing every single day,” Marik said.
“If it turns out in further studies that this is true, and we can validate it, then this will be an unbelievably huge deal,” said Dr. Craig Coopersmith, a surgery professor at Emory University School of Medicine. “But right now we should treat it as a preliminary deal that needs to be validated.”
The NIH is providing a $3.2 million grant to run a carefully controlled study of vitamin C to treat sepsis, and it’s being conducted at several universities.
That study could wrap up later this year. Fowler says some patients in the trial will probably have been given corticosteroids, as Marik’s patients were, but that’s not a formal part of the study.
Taxpayers and drug companies have previously spent billions of dollars searching for an effective treatment for sepsis. Drug companies could reap billions in profits if they can develop a successful treatment for this common and often fatal disease.
Coopersmith said the extraordinary results reported from Norfolk clearly need that kind of careful scrutiny. Marik said he agrees, though he’s obviously not waiting for those results to emerge.
Sepsis occurs in more than 1 million people a year in this country, with 28 to 50 percent dying.
Sepsis causes more deaths than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. Globally, an estimated 20 – 30 million cases of sepsis occurs each year.
Patients surviving sepsis have double the risk of death in the following 5 years compared with hospitalized controls and suffer from physical, cognitive and affective health problems…
The condition can stem from a variety of different ailments and has an overwhelming immune response to infection. Natural chemicals released in the body trigger widespread inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky vessels. That slows blood flow, damaging the organs by depriving them of nutrients and oxygen.
In the worst cases, blood pressure drops, the heart weakens and the patient goes into septic shock.
The cost to treat sepsis in the United States has been estimated at $20 billion a year in 2011.
Incredible break-though, yet so simple.
I have said for years, some simple items, yet so wonderful: Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, and yes, Vitamin C.