Virginia doctor's possible cure could save millions from sepsis

Updated: Mar. 23, 2017 at 9:48 PM EDT
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NORFOLK, VA (WWBT) - A doctor at Eastern Virginia Medical School says he may have stumbled upon a cure for sepsis - a common infection that kills more than 250,000 people in the U.S. annually and millions around the world.

The possible cure was discovered by Dr. Paul Marik "by accident as [he] was treating a patient who was dying of sepsis," according to EVMS Magazine.

The breakthrough? Marik combined Vitamin C with Hydrocortisone administered intravenously.

"Dr. Marik has developed a brilliant and elegantly simple hypothesis in the treatment of sepsis," says Richard Homan, MD, President and Provost of EVMS and Dean of the School of Medicine. "The implications of the findings are profound and, if replicated, may transform the treatment of sepsis worldwide."

Dr. Marik was working with a patient dying from sepsis when he decided to try something new. After combining Vitamin C and Hydrocortisone in the patient's IV, he left fully expecting the patient to not make it through the night.

Within hours, the patient was recovering - enough that two days later, she was able to leave the ICU.

Dr. Marik refined the possible cure by adding Thiamine.

"We haven't seen a patient die of sepsis since we began using the combination therapy a year ago," said Dr. Marik. "We have completely changed the natural history of sepsis."

Now other hospitals and ICUs are beginning to adopt the treatment.

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