Except on few occasions, the patient appears to die from the body's response to infection rather than from it - William Osler, The Evolution of Modern Medicine, 1904


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Current efforts to fight sepsis aren’t working. We need a bolder approach


If pharmaceutical and biotech companies gave up trying to find better treatments for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, there would be public outrage. Yet that is essentially what has happened to sepsis, an infection that kills as many Americans each year — about 250,000 — as stroke and Alzheimer’s combined — with barely a whimper. If we can strive to fight a new scourge like opioids, we should be able to do the same for a much older killer.

Thanks to antibiotics, vaccinations, and public health advances like modern sanitation, it’s easy to think that Americans live largely free of the infectious diseases that once took such a toll. That’s partially right: We effectively prevent…

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Last Updated : Sunday, June 27, 2021