July 20, 2018 – Doing Good


Anchor lead:  Why should a promising treatment for sepsis be studied more? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Sepsis is a killer. This overwhelming infection is implicated in one in three deaths in the hospital, CDC data indicate, with one recent study touting the combination of vitamin C, thiamine, and steroids to reduce deaths by a third.  So why is this treatment being tested so rigorously now, as the negative side effects seem negligible? Jeremiah Hinson, an emergency medicine physician at Johns Hopkins and one of the study’s leaders, explains.

Hinson: One of the main concerns that we would have is any small side effects that you’re getting from a drug that’s doing nothing is not good. And we want to be sure that we are doing right by our patients. The way that we do that is we investigate in the most rigorous way whether a treatment is actually effective. The other thing is that in sepsis there are very sick patients. So when they come in they’re often dehydrated, we’re giving them fluids, these are three simple drugs but they’re all given intravenously. In order to focus all of that energy on giving these medications every three hours and in very sick patients we want to know that those medications are actually helping.  :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.