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Feinstein Institute researcher publishes new perspective on sepsis
Date:4/17/2014

MANHASSET, NY In a review published in the April issue of Immunity, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, says it's time to take a fresh look at the medical community's approach to treating sepsis, which kills millions worldwide every year, including more than 200,000 Americans.

Sepsis occurs when molecules released into the bloodstream to fight an injury or infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is necessary for maintaining good health without inflammation, wounds and infections would never be controlled or heal. However, persistent and constant inflammation often results in organ dysfunction or damage, leading to death 28 to 50 percent of people who suffer from sepsis die from the condition. In addition to the toll in human lives, sepsis costs healthcare systems billions of dollars each year much of the costs attributed to expenses incurred during weeks or months-long stays in intensive care units.

The review, co-written by Dr. Tracey and Clifford S. Deutschman, professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania, notes that unlike other major epidemic illnesses, treatment for sepsis is nonspecific and limited primarily to support of organ function and administration of intravenous fluids, antibiotics and oxygen. There are no approved drugs that specifically target sepsis. They argue that to develop therapeutic options that treat sepsis, a new approach might be needed.

Sepsis, Drs. Tracey and Deutschman wrote, "is not a stereotypical, steadily progressive immunological process that follows infection or injury; that innate and adaptive immune responses do not inevitably damage host cells; and that the long-held notion that sepsis is a distinct immunological disorder is incorrect. Rather, understanding sepsis requires reframing the research focus to identify immunometabolic and neurophysiological mechanisms of cellular and org
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Contact: Emily Ng
eng3@nshs.edu
516-562-2670
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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