Sepsis

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a medical condition caused by a serious infection due to the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood, eventually causing failure of one or several organs. Without prompt treatment, it can evolve into septic shock, which is a life-threatening condition.

Patients suffering from sepsis are normally treated with intravenous antibiotics, oxygen, fluids and drugs to stimulate the heart and to maintain an acceptable blood pressure level. In some cases, dialysis is used. No specific medical treatment for sepsis has been found, although intensive research is being carried out within this field.

A financial challenge ‒ and a solution

Although sepsis is a complex condition, with increasing incidence and high mortality (30‒50 %, ref. 1), it is very different from other causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Health care costs for patients (e.g. during 2008, 18 billion $ in USA, ref. 2) with sepsis continually increasing, is challenging the finances of health care systems worldwide.

Endotoxins are a key player in sepsis and well known to induce a strong response from the immune system. This response leads to the release of inflammatory mediators and eventually sepsis or even septic shock. By dramatically decreasing the amount of endotoxin using the Alteco® LPS Adsorber, the effects of gram-negative sepsis is reduced and thus the course of sepsis can be turned for the patient.

 

1. Vincent JL, Sakr Y, Sprung CL, et al. Sepsis in European intensive care units: results of the SOAP study. Crit Care Med, 34:344-353, 2006

2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HCUP facts and figures: Statistics on hospital-based care in the United States, 2008

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