Tiffany Osborn, MD, associate professor of surgery and of emergency medicine, and her colleagues published a paper April 2 in The New England Journal of Medicine about septic shock. The paper was chosen for the NEJM’s online forum and drew more than 23,000 views and several thousand podcast listeners.
A provocative study links prolonged episodes of sepsis — a life-threatening infection and leading cause of death in hospitals — to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body. Pictured is the Epstein-Barr virus.
Babies born prematurely are surviving in increasing numbers, but many withstand complications of early birth only to suffer late-onset sepsis — life-threatening bloodstream infections that strike after infants reach 72 hours of age. The causes of late-onset sepsis have not been clear. But now, researchers at the School of Medicine led by Phillip I. Tarr, MD, and Barbara B. Warner, MD, have discovered that preterm babies’ guts harbor infectious microbes that can cause this condition.
Washington University in St. Louis has awarded five Bear Cub fund grants totaling $190,000 to support innovative research that has shown commercial potential. Jerry Morrissey (right), PhD, received one of the grants to develop rapid tests for the early development of kidney cancer.
Patients who die from sepsis are likely to have had suppressed immune systems that left them unable to fight infections, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown. The findings suggest that therapies to rev up the immune response may help save the lives of some patients with the disorder.
Washington University School of Medicine researchers report they have identified a gene that limits damage to the lung during acute stress from illness, trauma or transplant.
Right now there’s no rapid way to diagnose sepsis, a fast-moving blood infection that is a leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units. Doctors who suspect sepsis typically rush to prescribe powerful antibiotics, but this can lead to the inappropriate treatment of patients with uncontrollable inflammation without an underlying infection. New research at the School of Medicine suggests that doctors one day could quickly distinguish sepsis from widespread non-infectious inflammation based on genetic profiles of patients’ blood.
Right now there’s no rapid way to diagnose sepsis, a fast-moving blood infection that is a leading cause of death in hospital intensive care units. Doctors who suspect sepsis typically rush to prescribe powerful antibiotics, but this can lead to the inappropriate treatment of patients with uncontrollable inflammation without an underlying infection. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that doctors one day could quickly distinguish sepsis from widespread non-infectious inflammation based on genetic profiles of patients’ blood.
ICU personnel are instructed in proper placement of catheters to lower infection risk.Because patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are, by definition, in dire health, the consequences of even the slightest medical error can be devastating. Now two quality-improvement studies by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis suggest solutions to two of the most common and dangerous patient safety challenges in ICU patients: restoring normal phosphorus levels and preventing infections related to catheters. The research was a multi-disciplinary effort between physicians, nurses, dietitians and the rest of the surgical ICU team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The quality-improvement studies led to dramatic improvements in patient health and safety, and the team believes these initiatives could improve patient health and safety at any ICU in the country.
Patients in intensive care units are kept alive with breathing machines, dialysis, tube feeding and other extraordinary measures until their bodies can begin to recover from critical illness or traumatic injury.Sepsis, sometimes called blood poisoning, is the leading cause of death among critically ill patients in the United States. For many years, scientists believed it was the result of an uncontrolled inflammatory response, but several studies that involved anti-inflammatory drugs were not successful at improving survival. Now, a research team led by Richard S. Hotchkiss, M.D., professor of anesthesiology and of medicine and associate professor of surgery and of molecular biology and pharmacology, and Irene E. Karl, Ph.D., research professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that how immune cells die in sepsis might be a key to whether patients survive. When immune cells die through a process known as programmed cell death, or apoptosis, a patient’s chance of survival appears to be much lower than if cells die through a different mechanism called necrosis.