New Treatments for Pneumonia, Sepsis

Tackling Severe Pneumonia and Sepsis: What Is Ready for Prime Time? (C91)

2:15-4:15 p.m.

Salon A-C (South Building, Street Level), Walter E. Washington Convention Center

A promising treatment for sepsis made mainstream news in March when a doctor in Virginia reported success in treating patients using intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine.

“If the outcomes reported can be replicated in a randomized controlled trial, it would be a game changer for the treatment of sepsis and septic shock,” says Mark L. Metersky, MD, one of the moderators of a Tuesday session that will address the many unresolved and controversial issues in treating severe pneumonia and sepsis.

Antibiotics have been a mainstay for tackling sepsis and severe pneumonia. Multidrug resistant and extensively drug-resistant pathogens have complicated treatment. Richard G. Wunderink, MD, professor of pulmonary and critical care at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, will present evidence supporting the use of various antibiotics to deal with these bacteria.

“Two talks will address the ongoing controversy regarding which patients—if any—with pneumonia or septic shock should be treated with corticosteroids,” says Dr. Metersky. Antoni Torres, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain, will speak for the “pro” side of the debate. Richard Hotchkiss, MD, professor of anesthesiology, medicine, surgery, molecular biology, and pharmacology at Washington University, St. Louis, will pose the “con” side.

Leaving the steroid controversy behind, Tobias Welte, MD, professor of medicine at Hannover Medical School, Germany, will discuss immunomodulatory interventions for pneumonia and septic shock. “Dr. Welte will discuss non-steroid drugs that are being developed to either augment or prevent over-activation of the immune system in patients with severe pneumonia and septic shock,” says Dr. Metersky.

Grant Waterer, MBBS, PhD, MBA, professor of medicine at the University of Western Australia, Perth, will present cutting-edge diagnostics for severe respiratory infections. “This session will review the new diagnostic tests that, for the most part, use molecular methods and will discuss how they can be best used to improve clinical care,” says Dr. Metersky.

Patient survival is just part of the battle in tackling pneumonia and sepsis. “It is becoming clearer that patients who survive severe pneumonia or sepsis carry with them long-term negative neuropsychiatric and physical effects that have not received enough attention from clinicians and researchers,” says Dr. Metersky.

Sachin Yende, MD, MS, an associate professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, will examine new models of care for pneumonia and sepsis survivors.

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