Calgary

Sepsis survivors studied by Calgary researchers

Scientists at the University of Calgary are working to improve the lives of sepsis survivors.

Brain inflammation caused by sepsis can cause long-lasting problems for survivors

Scientists at the University of Calgary are working to improve the lives of sepsis survivors.

Sepsis, sometimes referred to as blood poisoning, is a severe reaction to infection that triggers inflammation throughout the body.

About one-third of patients who develop the condition die and many of those who survive suffer long-term cognitive problems.

"Many of them aren't returning to their jobs, many of them are not able to do the things they used to do and enjoy the life they used to be able to enjoy," said Dr. Paul Kubes, one of the scientists working on the project."

What we'd like to be able to do is eliminate those problems so they can go back to the life that they used to have."

Kubes says they are working to develop a drug that can be given in intensive care units to prevent brain inflammation, which often accompanies sepsis and causes the cognitive problems.

Two years ago, while battling liver and kidney failure, Nadine Foster developed sepsis. Today she's still feeling the effects. 

"Concentration is a big issue. I can't seem to focus on any one task for any longer than a few minutes at a time," she said.

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