Study Discovers That Septic Shock Begins Earlier than Scientists Thought

September 30, 2020 11:24:13

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have discovered that septic shock can be classified into four categories, making it easier for hospitals to accurately triage sepsis patients and treat individuals who are at higher risk first. This will prevent a higher mortality rate from people dying due to this costly and deadly medical condition.

The leading causes of in-hospital deaths are septic shock and sepsis. Biomedical researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Whiting School of Engineering state that their findings may be used to detect early signs of septic shock in patients who are rapidly developing the infection as it overpowers their immune system. Septic shock in fatal cases can lead to organ failure and eventually, death.

This new study from the Institute of Computational Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering also shows that septic shock starts much earlier than health practitioners currently understand. The findings from the study will help in answering a lot of the questions that surround this deadly disease, although we may have to wait a bit longer for an algorithmic definition to be discovered.

The lead author of the study and doctoral student in biomedical engineering, Ran Liu, said that they used patients’ risk categories to group them. This demonstrated the usefulness of having various risk categories that would indicate the severity of septic shock cases in patients. Their research was supervised by Raimond L. Winslow, who is Liu’s adviser and also the director of the Institute for Computational Medicine. Additionally, the research was published on eLife.

The study, which used more than 24 physiological indicators, collected from 200,000 individual admissions from various hospitals in the U.S., discovered that the increase in risk of an individual to suffer from septic shock occurred within half an hour to an hour after the first sign of shock registers.

The descent into septic shock registers as rapid shifts in lactate levels, heart rate and blood pressure. When a patient’s immune system is overpowered by an infection, the body starts to lose the ability to stop the body from deteriorating further. The scientists believe that this is when septic shock begins and refer to this period as “pre-shock.”

The study states that when a patient enters the pre-shock stage, they are already in a state of septic shock. Patients who have been categorized in the highest risk of experiencing septic shock are in a septic shock stage for at least 10 hours before they can satisfy what is the current clinical definition of septic shock.

The paper adds that the plummet into pre-shock is quite rapid and that the use of intelligent and automated monitors may help detect it in patients. The researchers recommend that hospitals begin implementing automated technology to help detect these early warnings. Furthermore, the study supports the existing research that requires lactate measurements be done every 1- 2 hours for better categorization of patients, stating that their research calculates median time between lactate observations to be 11.2 hours.

Septic shock is a serious condition, and there is no doubt that biomed companies like CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) welcome the additional information that this research has unveiled about this condition.

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