Critical Care and Shock

Sepsis and acute kidney injury: Is there a role for activated protein C in 2011?

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Sepsis is a complex clinical syndrome that results from an infection-triggered systemic inflammatory response. (1) Due to the large amount of invasive procedures performed nowadays, increased life expectancy in the population of Western societies and frequent use of immunosuppressive therapy, the incidence of sepsis syndrome has significantly increased in the past few decades. (1,2) In the United States alone, every year, between 500,000 and 750,000 patients will develop sepsis, with an associated documented mortality rate of 20 to 40%. (2-4) This syndrome is commonly encountered in intensive care units (ICU). In a European study, 10-15% of all patients admitted to the ICU developed sepsis and septic shock. (5) Severe sepsis remains the leading cause of death in the non-coronary ICU and the 10th leading cause of death overall. (6, 7)

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