Skip to main content.

A cure for sepsis?

A critical-care physician at Eastern Virginia Medical School has found what he believes is a cure for sepsis. The discovery came by accident as Paul Marik, MBBCh, was treating a patient who was dying of sepsis.

Below is the treatment protocol (current as of March 2017), a link to the study in the journal CHEST and background materials for medical professionals and media professionals.

Read more in the EVMS digital magazine.

See coverage from NPR and in The Virginian-Pilot.

For medical professionals

  • Sepsis treatment protocol

    Vitamin C: 1.5 g IV q 6 hourly for 4 days or until discharge from the ICU. Vitamin C is provided by the manufacturer as a 50 ml vial at a concentration of 500mg/ml. Three (3) ml of vitamin C will be placed in a 100ml bag of either dextrose 5% in water (D5W) or normal saline and infused over 60 minutes.

    Hydrocortisone: 50mg IV push q 6 hourly for 6 days or until discharge from the ICU. Taper is not required. Optional dosing strategy: Hydrocortisone 50 mg bolus, followed by a 24-hour continuous infusion of 200 mg for 4 days.

    Thiamine: 200mg IV q 12 hourly for 4 days or until discharge from the ICU. Intravenous thiamine (200 mg) was placed in a piggyback in 50 ml of either D5W or normal saline and administered as a 15-minute infusion.

    Read the entire Marik sepsis protocol.

For media professionals

Video clips | Additional photos | News release

  • Sepsis: A global killer

  • Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    More than 250,000 people in the United States die from sepsis annually, according to the Sepsis Alliance. It is the most common cause of death among hospitalized patients in the U.S. The Global Sepsis Alliance estimates that eight million people die worldwide as a result of sepsis each year.

Video 1: Overview

If you use this footage, please reference it as: Courtesy of Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Video 2: A chance discovery

If you use this footage, please reference it as: Courtesy of Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Video 3: Raw B-Roll

If you use this footage, please reference it as: Courtesy of Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Video 4: Raw soundbites

If you use this footage, please reference it as: Courtesy of Eastern Virginia Medical School.
  • Additional photos:

Headshot of Dr. Paul Marik. Paul E. Marik, MBBCh Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Marik in the ICU with medical students. Dr. Marik in the ICU.