A study presented in the December 2017 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights a potential breakthrough treatment for sepsis. Sepsis, which affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, and which is fatal in one-third of emergent cases where prompt treatment does not take place, is a major danger in hospitals and other medical settings due to poor diagnostic tests.
Sepsis symptoms can be mild or severe, ranging from decreased urination to debilitating diarrhea and nausea. Body temperature is either significantly elevated or lower than the 98.6 degrees our bodies normally maintain. Some of the symptoms, such as confusion and disorientation, maybe initially blamed on behavior difficulties or substance abuse if the doctor is not following proper diagnostic protocols.
Because sepsis is a progressive disease, getting worse and worse with time, prompt diagnosis and treatment are important. Treatments for the disease take time, and much of this time is lost when physicians fail to make a prompt diagnosis. The new treatment proposed by researchers at the University of California – San Diego promises to work more quickly than traditional antibiotics.
The treatment uses nanosponges injected into macrophages to more efficiently fight the disease. Macrophages are part of white blood cells the body uses to fight infection. These nanosponges are able to scrub the bacteria from the bloodstream, effectively eliminating sepsis from the body. Additional clinical trials will be necessary, but this is a very promising treatment.
This treatment could go a long way in providing a treatment that works fast enough to prevent death and disability in patients suffering from sepsis. Still, this will require an accurate diagnosis, and failure to diagnose this disease is much too common. If you or someone you love suffered due to a missed or delayed diagnosis, please retain an experienced attorney to evaluate your case.