Researchers tested a kind of bone marrow stem cell to discover if it could help treat sepsis. They found that these stem cells could triple the odds of a person surviving the condition.
Sepsis is a life-threatening response to an infection. It is triggered when an established infection somewhere in your body (skin, lungs, urinary tract, etc.) causes an extreme immune response by your body. The aftermath sepsis leaves in its wake is shocking. In just a short amount of time, it can cause tissue damage, organ failure and death.
Fever, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, and increased breathing rate along with lab tests that check for signs of infection and organ damage are current methods used by doctors for diagnosing sepsis. However, since the symptoms of sepsis (like difficulty breathing and fever) mirror symptoms for other conditions, it can be challenging to effectively diagnose sepsis in its early stages.
While the first modern view of sepsis dates back to the early 19th century, little progress has been made in treating it.
Current protocols are to give antibiotics, maintain blood flow to organs, and treat the source of the infection. Patients receive oxygen and intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain blood flow and oxygen to organs. Sometimes surgery is required to remove tissue damaged by the infection.
Antibiotics are the go-to method of treatment and can offer some help, but researchers have been trying to find a more effective treatment option for centuries.
Now, stem cells are offering a new angle on fighting the fight against sepsis and infections.
It is common knowledge in the stem-cell science field that mesenchymal stem cells support immune system function and regeneration of damaged tissues. Scientists tested a theory that bone marrow stem cell could treat sepsis and discovered that stem cells could actually triple the odds of a person surviving a bout with sepsis.
Researchers conducted an experiment on a group of mice with sepsis. The level of sepsis the mice had in their bodies caused infection and organ damage. At the height of infection, the scientists administered injections of bone marrow stem cells to some of the mice, and not to others so they could compare the outcomes. Five days later, half the mice that had received stem cell treatment were still alive. Only fifteen percent of the mice that didn’t receive the stem cell treatment were still alive.
It was also found that the mice that received the stem cell injections had better overall health, less inflammation throughout the body, and less bacteria. Their ability to fight infection was stronger than before the injections.
One of the most encouraging results of the experiment was how fast the stem cell worked on the sepsis state. Because of how quickly sepsis can attack tissues and organs, it is important to find a treatment option that allows for quick results.
The Centers for Disease Control report that 1.5 million Americans contract sepsis each year with 250,000 of that number dying. One in three of patients that die in the hospital have sepsis, says the CDC. A major cause of mortality in intensive care units is sepsis. By using stem cells to treat sepsis, these hundreds of thousands of lives that fall victim to sepsis each year could be saved, along with billions of dollars spent on immediate and on-going care for those that survive, but who survive with long-term damage.
The stem-cell treatment advantage is that it not only buoys the health of a specific organ or part of the body, but the mesenchymal stem cells also assist along the entire path the infection traversed, reducing the risk of long-term tissue and organ damage as well.
Finding an effective, fast-moving treatment option to halt the life-threatening, life-altering effects of sepsis is of immediate concern to scientists, doctors, and the medical community at large. Using stem cells to treat sepsis could provide that long-needed treatment option. To learn more, and to discover what stem cell therapies you may currently be a candidate for, call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016 and see what stem cell therapy can do for you!