VCU Doctors Achieve Success Fighting Sepsis With High Levels of Vitamin C | Community Idea Stations


VCU Doctors Achieve Success Fighting Sepsis With High Levels of Vitamin C

Twenty - year old Kelsey Martin picked up a respiratory infection on a Spring break trip to Italy when she returned home she was having trouble breathing, “And I remember feeling you know after you run for a long time, and you struggle to catch your breath you feel like that.” But it got worse she was diagnosed with sepsis and that is a killer. Dr. Alpha “Berry” Fowler, VCU School of Medicine, “Sepsis is the response that people have throughout the body when infection with germs or viruses or funguses occur and depending upon the prior sickness of the person, the likelihood of dying is very high.” Kelsey was transported from Inova Fair Oaks Hospital by way of the VCU LifeEvac helicopter connected to an ECMO machine that drains blood from a patient’s veins , adds oxygen and removed carbon dioxide then warms the blood and returns it to a large vein with improved oxygen to keep the patient alive. But she got something else a new procedure, using high doses of vitamin C. “About ten years ago, my colleagues and I began doing so preclinical work with vitamin C. And the work done in this laboratory has shown that Vitamin C, when it gets it gets to very high plasma levels, is very potently anti-inflamatory. But they discovered something else very important in their research. “We have to give it intravenously, so it acts like a drug and not like a vitamin. ”And then, It can reduce inflammation by stripping away proteins that drive these inflammatory factors in the body when there is sepsis and without a way to stop the inflammation, sepsis is deadly. “If you can imagine two fully loaded 747 crashing every day, that’s how many people die in this country annually.” The number is 350 thousand. Kelsey Martin, was not one of them. 6“About two weeks after, I went and got my lungs tested, like how much air they could hold the pulmonologist said they looked great, there wasn’t any scarring they could see on x-rays or anything. The procedure saved her life and could pave the way for others to follow as another tool for dealing with sepsis. “Well, I would like to emphasize that we have been working on this for a period of ten years. And, if vitamin C, after a randomized, placebo-controlled blinded trial turns out to be successful then this therapy, which will save lives across the world, will have been invented at VCU.” Kelsey Martin has completely recovered. Dr. Fowler is principal investigator of a 3.2 million dollar trial from the National Institute of Health, which is nearing its conclusion and he believes Kelsey Martin’s success…success will help pave the way for the treatment for thousands of others.