Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Friday, March 28, 2014

"Sepsis Study Comparing Three Treatment Methods Shows Same Survival Rate."

"Sepsis Study Comparing Three Treatment Methods Shows Same Survival Rate." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <>.

Sepsis is a dangerous inflation of everything in the body caused by infections, usually in hospitals. This article was about a clinical trial to try to prevent sepsis from occurring in so many patients. In America alone, sepsis takes 800,000 lives a year. Sepsis can cause dangerously low blood pressure and can cut off your organs’ supply of oxygen, which leads to organ failure and, subsequently, death. Doctors Derek C. Angus, M.D., M.P.H., and Donald M. Yealy, M.D., joined together to start a five-year clinical trial called Protocolized Care for Early Septic Shock (ProCESS) to see how sepsis could be treated. They got 1,341 patients to partake in the trial, divided them into three groups, and tested three different ways of treating sepsis. Group 1 got early goal-directed therapy, which means the doctors inserted a venous catheter near the heart to monitor blood pressure and oxygen levels. Doctors closely monitored the patient for the first 6 hours and gave the patient limited amount of fluids, cardiovascular drugs, and blood transfusions. Group 2 was given protocolized standard care. The patients’ heart rate and blood pressure were taken with a cuff and they were observed without a catheter to decide their treatment plan. The 3rd group was given standard care, which entails the doctors monitoring the patient and giving them drugs, fluids, and transfusions as they saw fit. Dr. Angus and Dr. Yealy compared the results of the 5-year trial and the different methods of care and found that all three treatment plans gave the same outcomes. The outcomes took in all factors of the trial: survival at 60 days, 90 days and one year, heart and lung function, and length of hospital stay. A lot was discovered from this trial, such as the fact that invasive care is not necessary to treat early sepsis. Invasive treatment is dangerous for patients and can cause more infection.
The ProCESS study was a good step towards treating sepsis and avoiding the many deaths it causes yearly. With the information gained from this study, doctors in the future can create new studies with other approaches and perhaps discover the ultimate cure for sepsis. Doctors are one step closer to finding a solution to the danger of sepsis. ProCESS was a successful trial because it determined the level of invasiveness needed to treat early sepsis, and that alone can save many lives by protecting patients from needless infections and strain on their body from the invasive procedures.
This article was very helpful and informational. It gave all the details needed such as the exact methods of care given to the three patient groups. I thought it was well written and well and clearly conveyed the importance and outcome of the ProCESS trial. It was not very informational when it talked about where in the world the trial was performed and what the patients’ conditions were. Some patients may have had different circumstances and medical history, etc. which could affect the trial’s outcomes. Nevertheless, this article was interesting to read and noteworthy in the world of medical science.


  1. One aspect Olivia did well in her review was she started off by giving the definition of sepsis. I think this was a good way to start the review because the article is about sepsis and if you don’t know what that is than the review will be confusing. I realized that sepsis was a very serious thing when I read that it has been the cause for about 800,000 deaths a year. That fact really caught my eye. Another aspect that was done well was Olivia explained the experiment they did in depth and along the way she defined any terms that needed defining to make the reader understand what she was talking about. A third aspect that was presented well was Olivia gave a good, clear, and to the point opinion about the article. Before reading this review I had never heard of sepsis therefore, this review taught me a lot. I learned about the Protocolized Care for Early Septic Shock, or ProCESS, the five year clinical trial to learn more about sepsis. Also, I learned that invasive treatment is not beneficial. Although this review was well written and I learned a lot one thing Olivia could have done to improve her review was she could have added any questions she had about the article. Overall, I am glad I read this review because it informed me on something very serious that I did not know about and I hope they find a cure for it soon.

  2. I think Olivia did a very great job in summarizing the article and allowing the reader understand what sepsis is and how it is relevant. I think that Olivia's description of the experiment was very in depth, again allowing for the reader understand what was going on. I think Olivia's explanation and summary allowed for me to understand how sepsis is an issue and what scientists and doctors are trying to do about it, such as run clinical trials. Lastly, I think Olivia's critique on the article was pretty outstanding. Olivia brought up that the article was very descriptive. However, Olivia brought up a great point, which was that the article did not go in depth on each test subject or person's conditions. The people's conditions are a vital variable in running these tests because they could make the outcomes fluctuate. I found it very fascinating to learn about sepsis considering I did not even know it existed. I had no idea that sepsis effects so many people and even in hospitals. Another point I found very interesting was that doctors still do not know exactly how dangerous sepsis and the tests are bringing us one step closer to knowing. This point really stuck with me because sepsis clearly affects many people a year and doctors still do not know that much about it. Although I think Olivia did a great job in reviewing this article, I think she could have done a better job if she had brought up questions like what exactly do the tests allow for us to now know about sepsis that we did not before, as apposed to just stating that doctors are one step closer to a cure. To conclude, I enjoyed this review because it was very informative and well written.


  3. This was a terrific review in which I truly learned a lot from. One thing that I thought you portrayed well was the explanation of the disease and it’s danger. You did a good job with facts and statistics to show how serious this disease is. This also ties In to your explanation on the proposed treatment, for I felt that was also well presented. Another thing in your review that I thought you did well was your analysis. You explained what ProCESS is well and how it is trying to stop Sepsis and lower the death toll. You also stated an opinion, which added to your argument in that ProCESS is doing a good job and is finding the best way possible to treat this deadly disease. A third and final thing that I was impressed with was the fact that you were interested in the topic at hand. You knew what you were talking about and easily explained the process of the experiments. I thought you had many great points in this review and I was truly impressed with what you did.
    I was really interested with the fact that although 800,000 people die a year of this disease I had never heard of it before. This seems like a very brutal disease and I had never known of it before but now I am aware of it and it’s harm. This is a very interesting disease because this could affect anyone due to the fact that it is passed along in hospitals and the fact that basically everything in your body is inflated. Another interesting fact that I learned from this article is the fact that this has been going on for a long time. These trials have been going on for 5 years and it is quite exciting that they are processing the evidence now and could save hundreds of thousands of lives.
    One Thing I felt you could have done better is explain how they started doing this study and when and explain what was truly the turning point. Other than that I felt as if the article and review were great reads.

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  5. Olivia's review did a great job of summarizing both what the article was talking about and why the article's subject - a five year long study of sepsis treatment known as ProCESS - was important. I had no idea how sepsis worked or how many lives it took every year, and I was surprised to learn that it's a major disease that kills approximately eight hundred thousand people annually, and that it's difficult to prevent, diagnose, and treat.
    The review also was extremely clear in explaining exactly what trials ProCESS (Protocolized Care for Early Septic Shock) did to better understand how to treat sepsis, explaining step by step the care that was given to each trial group. This made it easy to understand what the ProCESS experiment did to find out what care methods were most effective in treating sepsis.
    I was interested to learn that in the results, researchers who analyzed ProCESS data found that invasive procedures do not actually improve patient survival rates. Obviously that kind of information is crucial for doctors treating patients with sepsis who wish to know how they can most effectively treat their patient’s disease.
    One thing that could have improved the review would have been including more information on the exact outcomes of ProCESS' trials. Although Olivia mentioned that the trials allowed doctors to find that invasive procedures do not help patients recover, and may even harm patients further, it would have been interesting to know what in the results of ProCESS allowed doctors to conclude this. I also agree with Olivia in that the article could have talked more about the patients involved with ProCESS and other details about the experiment, to allow the reader to learn even more about sepsis and ProCESS. Olivia's review was informative without being over-detailed and got me interested in what sepsis is and what steps are being taken to research and combat its spread.

  6. Olivia had a lot of strong points in her current event. I liked how she picked a topic that is about something that is not very well known, and she did a really good job explaining it. She included the definition, which was a straight forward and simple way to clearly explain what she was talking about. Also, Olivia chose to use an attention-grabbing fact about the number of deaths caused by sepsis. That fact helped to show that even though it isn’t talked about very often (in everyday conversation), sepsis is very serious. I really liked how well written this was, as well as how knowledgeable you seem about the topic. If there is any complaint, it would be that you could have talked a little bit more about how this trial will affect the future of science. Overall, you did a really good job of explaining a difficult topic.

  7. Excellent job.

    Olivia wrote a detailed and thorough summary. She gave a compelling reason why this study was significant. I would maybe add to the relevancy that less invasive procedures could mean a reduction in healthcare costs.