What is most likely to kill you in the hospital other than cancer or heart disease? Your own body’s response to an infection -- in other words sepsis. Sepsis, the term for bad chemicals generated in your bloodstream when an immune system fights a bacterial or viral infection, even fungal according to the Mayo Clinic, is actually what kills people, not the infection itself, and millions die every year because there is no good treatment -- until now.

Statins (normally used to reduce cholesterol) can reduce inflammation in mild cases such as the flu but there are millions of deaths from hospital-acquired infections such as the dreaded staphylococcus aureus (Staph infection for short) because there is simply no good treatment for advanced sepsis or septic shock.

New treatment

But there is new hope for septic shock patients because, according to Sciencemag.org April 2016, molecular biologist Ivan Marazzi of Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City) has found Camptothecin reduces death rates in septic mice by 90%. Although that is only an initial animal test, because septic shock kills within hours even if the patient is in one of the world’s best hospitals, and because the Camptothecin chemotherapy drug is already approved for use in cancer treatment, doctors are free to use it in so-called off label treatments for other conditions such as septic shock syndrome.

Doctors miss new discoveries

Ask if your doctor knows about this new information, you must be prepared to speak up and save the life of some loved one or friend being treated for sepsis. Could this new discovery have saved Patty Duke, April 3, 2016 as reported in Blasting News? Is your life dependent on how well your doctor keeps up with the latest news and where you live?

According to MedLine Plus (National Institute of Health) septic shock symptoms include:

  • Cool, pale arms and legs.
  • High or very low temperature, chills.
  • Light-headedness.
  • Little or no urine.
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing.
  • Palpitations.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Restlessness, agitation, lethargy, or confusion.
  • Body temperature above 101 F (38.3 C) or below 96.8 F (36 C) (according to the Mayo Clinic online)

Camptothecin kills cancer by blocking an enzyme which also seems to modulate the immune system’s response to infections, which is why it may prevent millions of septic shock deaths around the world.

Sepsis is most dangerous if you

  • Are very young or very old
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Are already very sick, often in a hospital's intensive care unit
  • Have wounds or injuries, such as burns
  • Have invasive devices, such as intravenous catheters or breathing tubes 

In addition to being available off label for any doctor to use, the dosage of Camptothecin to treat sepsis would be fare less than that used in chemotherapy. #Medicine #Science