A Blood Filter Fights Deadly Inflammatory Response
A new blood filtration technology may prove to be life-saving for patients whose normally healthy inflammatory response to injury or illness has gone into overdrive, resulting in fatally high levels of cytokines in their blood. In an interview with MD+DI, Dr. Phillip Chan, MD, PhD, CEO of CytoSorbents Corp., explained that inflammation, and the production of substances called cytokines that drive inflammation, are the bodyâs natural response to heal injury or infection. But sometimes, the inflammatory response is so severe in such conditions as sepsis and infection, burn injuries, trauma, pancreatitis, liver failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and the stress of undergoing open heart surgery, that the body releases dangerously higher and higher levels of cytokines, often referred to as a cytokine storm. âThe inflammation and cytokine storm can be so massive that they cause cell death and broad organ damage,â he said. âUltimately, this can cause the failure of vital organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, and liver, leading to a very high risk of death,â he continued. Chan said there are currently no good ways to control this deadly inflammation, noting that standard anti-inflammatory drugs are not strong enough in these extreme cases. âOn the other end of the spectrum, there are drugs like high doses of steroids or immunosuppressants that are very good at...
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