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Sepsis 2019 – New Trends and Their Implications for Multiple Trauma PatientsArticle in several languages: English | deutsch
09 September 2019 (online)
In spring 2016, an updated sepsis definition (Sepsis-3) introduced a new explanation for the clinical picture of sepsis. Until then, sepsis had been understood as a “systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)” resulting from infection. An improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms and broad epidemiological studies of the clinical appearance shifted the focus from the inflammatory response to the multicausal tissue damage resulting in organ dysfunction. This paradigm shift highlights organ failure as a result of a dysregulated response of an organism to infection. Central to the new definition is the understanding that sepsis patients form a heterogeneous group and that the clinical picture requires alternative explanation patterns: e.g. sepsis is insufficiently explained by an overwhelming inflammatory response, it also comprises “immune paralysis” as another important pattern. Furthermore, severity of sepsis reflects the capacity of an organism to adapt and to mitigate the tissue damage through metabolic changes and repair mechanisms. Consistent with the paradigm of the new sepsis definition, adaptation in the presence of infections is crucial for the organism. Seriously injured or multiple trauma patients represent a patient group at particular risk, as sepsis often complicates the courses of these patients due to nosocomial infections. Along with comorbidities, past infections and age, leakage of skin and intestinal barriers as well as impaired defence and repair mechanism predispose trauma patients for a septic course. New pathophysiological insights suggest that the control of extracellular haem is of paramount significance. Haemolysis, transfusion and the consecutive expression of haem binding (such as haemopexin) or haem catabolic pathways (such as haem oxygenase) impair the ability of an organism to adapt, correlate with the prognosis and/or are strongly influenced by the surgical treatment concepts. Established treatment concepts of early causal and supportive therapy (damage control, antibiotic and fluid therapy) contribute to the reduction of mortality, depending on stringent implementation as part of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and quality management. The paradigm shift in sepsis research offers an improved understanding of the underlying pathogenic factors within complex and heterogeneous patient groups, such as nosocomial sepsis following trauma. These novel approaches will allow developing new treatment strategies potentially contributing to a significant reduction in morbidity and mortality of trauma patients.
1) According to the new paradigm, the ability to adapt to the pathogenic load associated with trauma and infection is crucial for an organism.
2) Seriously injured or multiple trauma patients are predisposed for septic courses due to impaired adaptation mechanisms.
3) Established treatment concepts of early causal and supportive therapy (damage control, antibiotic treatment, restrictive transfusion, and volume resuscitation) reduce mortality, in particular as part of SOPs and quality management strategies.
4) Newly emerging treatment concepts that focus on the control of extracellular haem are promising, but require more evidence for translation into clinical practice.
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