Doctors to treat septic patients with hypothermia

June 30, 2010, Society for Experimental Biology

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.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.