Sepsis is a life-threatening illness that occurs when the immune system overreacts to an injury or infection. Patients with early diagnosis of sepsis who are treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) have a much greater chance of survival (green arrow). However, a significant number of survivors suffer from long-term debilitating effects (blue arrow) and late mortality (red arrow). To better understand how to treat these long-term effects, Owen et al. have developed a mouse model that replicates the treatment outcomes of patients who had survived sepsis: 16-month-old mice were given an injury that induced sepsis and then given the same fluids and drugs patients would receive when in the ICU. These mice exhibited the long-term muscle weakness that commonly occurs in sepsis survivors.
Image credit: Icons are copyright of Greyjj/Dreamstime.com.