Doctors to treat septic patients with hypothermia

Jun 30, 2010

Inducing mild hypothermia is easy to implement in clinical practice and may be a valuable tool in the treatment of human sepsis patients, say researchers at the University of Brest, France.

Sepsis is an to infection and will often result in septic shock, which is the biggest cause of death in intensive care units.

New research shows that the development of in rats living under hypothermic conditions was slower than in normal conditions and they survived much longer.

The research is presented on Thursday 1st July at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Prague.

The new research showed that rats with sepsis living under normal conditions (38 ºC) showed a decreased ability to carry oxygen via the blood from the lungs to vital organs around the body, compared to those living under mildly hypothermic conditions (34 ºC).

Hypothermia could have a beneficial effect in septic patients whose uptake of oxygen has been affected by the condition, by increasing the ability of the pigment in red-blood cells (haemoglobin, Hb) to carry oxygen, thus balancing the harmful effects of sepsis, say the researchers.

Under normal conditions, sepsis can lead to septic shock, causing multiple and death in 60% of cases.

Building on these results, the research team are carrying out a pilot clinical study into the efficiency, safety and practicality of using mild hypothermia as a treatment for septic shock in humans.

The pilot study is being carried out Professor Erwan L'Her from Brest hospital and colleagues from the ORPHY laboratory in the University of Brest.

"The preliminary results suggest that mild hypothermia is safe and easily induced in patients and no serious adverse effects were observed", explained Karelle Leon, who is carrying out the research.

Hypothermia is already frequently induced in human patients in hospital to protect the brain from further damage after an injury has been sustained.

Explore further: Mouse model would have predicted toxicity of drug that killed five in 1993 clinical trial

Provided by Society for Experimental Biology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Septic shock: Nitric oxide beneficial after all

Dec 15, 2009

Scientists at VIB and Ghent University in Flanders, Belgium have found an unexpected ally for the treatment of septic shock, the major cause of death in intensive care units. By inducing the release of nitric oxide (NO) gas ...

Surviving sepsis program -- increased compliance gets results

Sep 03, 2009

A 'surviving sepsis' in-hospital project has been shown to improve the care of patients with sepsis. The educational program for early management of patients with septic shock, described in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Sepsis campaign improving treatment of major killer

Jan 13, 2010

A reduction in hospital mortality from severe sepsis and septic shock was associated with participation in the Surviving Sepsis Campaign performance improvement initiative, according to an article published simultaneously ...

Researchers make blood poisoning breakthrough

Jun 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The lives of millions of people struck down by blood poisoning - or sepsis - could be saved after a team of researchers, including an expert from the University of Glasgow, made a medical breakthrough in ...

Recommended for you

Researchers transplant regenerated oesophagus

20 hours ago

Tissue engineering has been used to construct natural oesophagi, which in combination with bone marrow stem cells have been safely and effectively transplanted in rats. The study, published in Nature Communications, shows ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

Gene removal could have implications beyond plant science

(Phys.org) —For thousands of years humans have been tinkering with plant genetics, even when they didn't realize that is what they were doing, in an effort to make stronger, healthier crops that endured climates better, ...