Since all patients are different and the causes of sepsis are many, not every available treatment is right for each patient. To find out what treatment is being given to you or your loved one and why, speak with your health care provider.
Here are treatments and medications that may be given to a patient with sepsis or who is in septic shock:
Arterial lines – An arterial line may be inserted to help monitor and provide care. Aterial lines are usually only seen in intensive care units. These are not used to give fluids or medications but to obtain bloods samples from the artery, rather than the vein. Intensive care staff can also monitor blood pressure through the arterial line.
Corticosteroids – Although doctors don't know why corticosteroids work for some patients who have sepsis, the medications do help some.
drotrecogin alfa (activated) – the generic name for a man-made form of a protein your body makes to reverse clotting was developed to treat severe sepsis. Xigris, the brand name of drotrocogin alfa (activated) was produced by Eli Lilly and Company, but was withdrawn from the market by the FDA in November 2011. Clinical studies did not show a significant difference in survival between patients who received Xigris and patients who did not.
Kidney dialysis – also called renal replacement therapy, dialysis necessary if the kidneys cannot filter the blood as they should. One of the kidneys’ main role is to filter toxins out of the blood.
Mechanical ventilation – Patients who have developed severe sepsis or have gone into septic shock may need help to breathe as they are no longer able to do so on their own. They would be intubated and the tube attached to a ventilator.
Oxygen – Patients are generally given oxygen, by mechanical ventilator, mask or nasal cannula, to ensure the body has enough oxygen in its system.
PreSep(tm) catheter - this type of catheter was developed to help intensive care unit staff by monitoring the oxygen levels in blood that is returning to the heart. It was developed by Edwards Lifesciences.
Pulmonary artery catheter - this type of catheter is inserted into the pulmonary artery - the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs where the blood can be supplied with oxygen. "Pulmonary" means something is related to the lungs.
Vasopressors – Physicians prescribe vasopressors to patients are in shock and whose blood pressures have dropped dangerously low. The vasopressors act by constricting or tightening up the blood vessels, forcing the blood pressure to go up.
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