Sepsis (blood poisoning) is a problem that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world. The condition is especially deadly because there is no proper treatment for it at the present, and approximately 30% of people who get sepsis die.
As such, medical experts around the world will rejoice at the news that a new study might have found a way of successfully dealing with this condition. According to researchers from South Korea, the ailment might be treated by protecting the blood vessels from the damage caused by sepsis.
This particular technique doesn’t tackle the actual infection. It doesn’t even contend with the body’s inflammation response. It rather works with the body’s vascular response to deliver results, and the fact that the technique has proven effective in mice shows promise.
Sepsis is a dangerous medical condition that causes the body to respond overwhelmingly to an infection. Left unchecked, sepsis will deprive the body of oxygen and nutrients, eventually damaging the organs. Patients under the thrall of sepsis have been known to slip into shock, eventually dying as a number of their organs shut down.
Sepsis is very common today and is, in fact, one of the leading causes of deaths in hospitals. Sepsis usually manifests as a result of other medical conditions such as an infection in the lungs or the urinary tract. It is not unheard of for invasive procedures to cause sepsis by unintentionally introducing bacteria into the blood stream.
There is no way to cure sepsis. The best doctors can do is to deal with the underlying infection. In many cases, the patient’s body successfully fights the sepsis on its own.
The new treatment the South Korean team is touting takes advantage of the way sepsis operates. When sepsis manifests, the blood vessels become weak and begin to leak, this eventually cascading into one of numerous life-threatening complications.
Rather than curing sepsis, the South Korean team believes they can prevent it. Their technique essentially is protecting the blood vessels from the effects of the condition. This way, the body is prevented from dealing with the worst side effects that sepsis can deliver.
According to Doctor Seung-Jun Lee (researcher at the Institute for Basic Science in Daejeon, South Korea), their treatment, which they have only successfully tested on mice, strengthens the blood vessels, giving the body a stable environment within which to fight any underlying infections.
This method of treatment involves activating a receptor protein known as TIE2 that sits on the surface of the cells that line blood vessels. When TIE2 is activated, the receptor protein enhances the ability of the blood vessel lining to combat inflammation and leakage.