- Open Access
Can a simple chemical help to both prevent and treat sepsis
© The Author(s). 2018
- Received: 29 July 2018
- Accepted: 13 August 2018
- Published: 29 September 2018
The original article was published in Critical Care 2018 22:116
I was pleased to read the commentary by Kempker et al., ‘Sepsis is a preventable public health problem’ (Crit Care, 2018, 22:116). Prevention of a critical illness such as sepsis is always preferable, for both the individual patients and the health system in general, with the cost of treating sepsis and its long-term health disabilities contributing a significant personal and societal burden. It has long been known that individuals who are vitamin C deficient are more prone to severe illnesses such as acute respiratory infections, with pneumonia being a major cause of death for individuals with the deficiency disease scurvy . Acute illnesses, such as sepsis, can also impact negatively on vitamin C status, despite recommended enteral and parenteral intakes . Due to the increased demand and utilization of vitamin C during critical illness, administration of at least 2–3 g/day of vitamin C is required to replete the plasma of these patients. Thus, inadequate vitamin C status may be both a contributor to and a consequence of severe illness.
Vitamin C is very cheap and remarkably safe, being a water soluble vitamin which is readily excreted by the kidneys or removed by haemodialysis. Although more studies clearly need to be carried out, the preliminary findings indicating both prevention and treatment of severe infections and sepsis by vitamin C are encouraging.
AC is supported by a Health Research Council of New Zealand Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship
AC wrote the letter. The author read and approved the final manuscript.
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