Antioxidants Save Trauma Patients

Monday, 20 Oct 2008 09:29 AM

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Antioxidants like vitamin C can make the difference between life and death in critically injured patients, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The study showed that antioxidants can heavily influence whether patients suffer potentially lethal major multiple organ failure after surgery for traumatic injuries.

In spite of modern surgical techniques and the use of the latest antibiotics, many trauma victims who survive their injury frequently die of multiple-organ failure following surgery. According to study leader Bryan Cotton, MD, FACS, such deaths are often the result of “oxidative stress,” which is the result of the release into the body of injured oxygen molecules known as free radicals.

Dr. Cotton said previous research has shown that in critically injured patents the store of antioxidants, which serve to neutralize free radicals, is quickly depleted. While antibiotics are essential following surgery, they are by themselves not enough, according to the study. Antioxidant therapy, in the form of vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium, can quickly replenish the body’s stores and help overcome fatal infections.

“Antioxidant therapy is so simple and that’s what throws people off,” Dr. Cotton said, who became interested in it after seeing results of a trial that showed inflammation in patients who received antioxidants was greatly improved over patients who did not. “When we learned it would cost only $11 a patient for a seven-day course of antioxidants, we decided to give it a try.”

The study tracked over 4,000 patients admitted to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center trauma unit. High-dose antioxidants were administered to all injured patients (about 2,200) between October 1, 2005, and September 30, 2006. Treatment included 1,000 mg. of vitamin C and 1,000 IU of vitamin E every eight hours by mouth, and 200 mcg. of selenium once a day intravenously. Results of the treatment were compared to about 2,000 patients admitted between October 1, 2005 and September 20, 2005, which was in the time period before antioxidant treatment was initiated.

In the patients who received the antioxidant treatment, abdominal compartment syndrome occurrences were reduced from 90 to 31, catheter-related infections were reduced from 75 to 50, surgical site infections from 101 to 44, and pulmonary failure reduced from 721 to 528.

The study team is now trying to determine optimal dosage. Dr. Cotton said, “While we are all looking for that magic bullet to cure some of the horrible things that can happen after someone is injured or has an operation, we have something at our disposal. It might not be that magic bullet, but it is a very inexpensive and safe way to reduce complications and mortality in the sickest patients.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Immigration Expert: De Blasio's ID Cards Are a Public Safety Hazard

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 14:40 PM

The identification cards being offered to illegal immigrants in New York City by Mayor Bill de Blasio pose a serious pub . . .

Ferguson Police Offered Class on Managing Media: 'Feeding the Animals'

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 14:19 PM

In the aftermath of the shooting of a black teenager and riots in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis Police County and Municip . . .

NYT Public Editor: Readers Take Offense to Article on Shonda Rhimes

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 13:58 PM

Margaret Sullivan, New York Times public editor, slammed the paper's television critic for describing television's proli . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved