Tag: sepsis

The Case for Vitamin C to Treat Serious Infections

Why do some folks think that high doses of vitamin C will cure anything and everything, including life-threatening infections?

Vitamin C is a cure for scurvy...
Vitamin C is a cure for scurvy…

The usual suspects.

The Case for Vitamin C to Treat Serious Infections

Sure, most of us know that Linus Pauling started the vitamin C craze way back in the 1970s.

But even though it has been shown time and again that high doses of vitamin C have no big health benefits, alternative medicine type folks keep pushing it, even as they advocate against newborns getting much needed vitamin K shots.

IV infusions are not cheap and have no health benefits.

There has even talk that it might help patients with sepsis in the ICU, a treatment that has come up again because of a clinical trial involving COVID-19.

Is it a coincidence that the measles epidemic in Samoa was under control soon after Edwin Tamasese was put in jail?

Will it work?

Some studies are still being done on septic patients in the ICU to see if they benefit from high dose vitamin C infusions.

“VICTAS is a clinical trial to test the combination of Vitamin C, thiamine and hydrocortisone for the treatment of sepsis.. It will be conducted across 30 to 40 major academic medical centers in the United States and will enroll at least 500 patients. All patients in the clinical trial will receive the regular best intensive care available for sepsis, and half of the patients will additionally receive vitamin C, thiamine and hydrocortisone. By testing a large number of patients, the doctors can then see if the group of patients that got the combination of medications did better than the group that did not.”


Other studies have been completed already.

“In patients with septic shock, treatment with intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine, compared with intravenous hydrocortisone alone, did not significantly improve the duration of time alive and free of vasopressor administration over 7 days. The finding suggests that treatment with intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine does not lead to a more rapid resolution of septic shock compared with intravenous hydrocortisone alone.”

Fujii et al on Effect of Vitamin C, Hydrocortisone, and Thiamine vs Hydrocortisone Alone on Time Alive and Free of Vasopressor Support Among Patients With Septic Shock: The VITAMINS Randomized Clinical Trial

And most show no benefit of high dose vitamin C therapy.

“The results of the clinical trial by Fujii et al in this issue of JAMA, added to the cumulative evidence from 13 different studies performed in 10 different countries, indicate that high-dose vitamin C with or without thiamine and steroids does not provide significant survival benefits for patients with sepsis or septic shock. Given that other studies are forthcoming, there appears to be no immediate justification for adoption of high-dose vitamin C, alone or in combination, as a component of treatment for sepsis. Moreover, use of high-dose vitamin C in combination or alone “just in case” or as a “measure of last resort,” aside from providing no survival benefits, could have several other potential consequences, including diverting funding from needed research to examine sepsis mechanisms and diagnostics; stifling the development of other sepsis therapies; perpetuating false hopes for patients, families, and clinicians; and delaying proven lifesaving therapies such as prompt initiation of antibiotic therapy.”

Andre Kalil on Lack of Benefit of High-Dose Vitamin C, Thiamine, and Hydrocortisone Combination for Patients With Sepsis

Which is too bad, as it would be great if sepsis could be cured or easily treated with vitamin C.

Sepsis is a terrible disease!

But why do folks who are against vaccines get so excited about vitamin C treatments?

That’s simple.

If you can easily treat such serious and life-threatening diseases with a little, or even a lot of vitamin C, then you can feel better about skipping or delaying your vaccines. After all, if you are unvaccinated and get sick, you have vitamin C to fall back on, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

“Prevent infections by following infection control practices (e.g. hand hygiene, catheter removal) and ensuring patients receive recommended vaccines.”

CDC on Sepsis Healthcare Professional Information

The best way to protect yourself from sepsis is to avoid the infections that can lead to sepsis. And getting vaccinated and protected is certainly a good way to avoid infections, even though not all of the germs that cause sepsis are vaccine preventable.

More on Vitamin C

Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments

Have you ever tried to understand or make sense out of the things anti-vaccine folks say?

How did it go?

Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments

Consider what a group of anti-vaccine folks did with the above post about a child with severe complications to a chicken pox infection…

It's always a vaccine injury...
It’s always a vaccine injury…

What are some of the big complications of chicken pox infections? Complications that help make chicken pox deadly?

That’s right, secondary skin and soft tissue bacterial infections (cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis). In fact, bacterial super-infections of the skin are the most common complication of chicken pox infections.

“Necrotizing fasciitis can lead to sepsis, shock, and organ failure. It can also result in life-long complications from loss of limbs or severe scarring due to surgically removing infected tissue. Even with treatment, up to 1 in 3 people with necrotizing fasciitis die from the infection.”

Necrotizing Fasciitis: All You Need to Know

No, chicken pox is not necrotizing fasciitis, but all of the breaks in the skin from chicken pox lesions give bacteria, including group A Streptococcus (group A strep) and Staphylococcus aureus, plenty of opportunities to enter a child’s body and quickly spread.

No one in the Netherlands dies with chicken pox???
No one in the Netherlands dies with chicken pox???

We often hear that chicken pox isn’t serious in other countries that don’t routinely use the chicken pox vaccine. Don’t believe them.

On average, about two young children die in the Netherlands each year due to chicken pox.

“Based on the results presented in this study we estimate that between 3 to 8% of all Dutch patients with varicella, depending on age, consult a GP due to a complication. Our findings are similar to data from Germany, France and the United States of America, were it is estimated that in approximately 2 to 6% of cases attending a general practice. Furthermore of these varicella patients 1.7% experiences complications severe enough to seek hospital care.”

Pierik et al on Epidemiological characteristics and societal burden of varicella zoster virus in the Netherlands

And folks in the Netherlands have similar rates of complications as we did in the United States in the pre-vaccine era and many are hospitalized.

Do you understand what’s happening in these comments? When folks choose to skip or delay their child’s vaccines, they will work hard to justify their decision.

Escaping cognitive dissonance explains a lot of anti-vaccine arguments.
Escaping cognitive dissonance explains a lot of anti-vaccine arguments.

That’s not surprising.

“the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”

cognitive dissonance definition

If you aren’t going to vaccinate your kids, do you want to think that you are leaving them at risk for such a serious complication, even if it is rare, or will you make up reasons for why the story can’t possibly be true?

Now these folks become skeptics?
Now these folks become skeptics?

Sure, these folks believe every vaccine injury story on Facebook without any proof, but all of a sudden they all become skeptics when faced with a story highlighting the known complications of a vaccine-preventable disease.

That’s the modern anti-vaccine movement.

More on Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments

Did a Healthy NY Senator Die After Getting a Flu Shot?

Update: the medical examiner has ruled that Senator José Peralta, of Queens, passed away from natural causes, complications of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Anti-vaccine folks are heavily pushing the idea that José Peralta, a New York State Senator, died as the result of getting a flu shot.

Senator Peralta did not die of a severe allergic reaction.
All of the same things? Exactly? Senator Peralta did not die of a severe allergic reaction. He died of sepsis.

While Senator Peralta did die several days after getting a flu shot, it appears that he had already been sick for several weeks. And no, that doesn’t mean that the flu shot made him even sicker.

“The senator would be disappointed to find that conspiracy theorists are using his death to forward their agenda by misrepresenting the facts.”

Chris Sosa on No Evidence New York Legislator Died from Flu Shot

New York State Sen. José Peralta had reportedly just gotten his flu shot at a public event, where he was encouraging others in his community to get protected with free flu shots.

Senator Jose Peralta partnered with a local hospital to help get members of his community free flu shots.
Senator Jose Peralta partnered with a local hospital to help get members of his community free flu shots.

And while he did die about four days later, there is absolutely no reason to think that his getting a flu shot was connected to his death.

Anti-vaccine folks have no shame, as they not only don’t respect the privacy of Senator Peralta’s wife, children, family and friends, but also are using him to attack his legacy.

Of course, this is the method of operation of the modern anti-vaccine movement. They make folks think that anything and everything is a vaccine injury and they actually go out of their way to exploit people who have died.

Learn the Risk of falling for anti-vaccine propaganda.
Learn the Risk of falling for anti-vaccine propaganda.

There is no evidence that New York State Senator Jose Peralta died from getting a flu shot.

In fact, the medical examiner has ruled that he had acute promyelocytic leukemia when he died.

Don’t let anti-vaccine folks dishonor his legacy by pushing false stories about flu shotsscaring people away from getting vaccinated and protected.

Vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary.

More on Flu Shot Propaganda

Updated January 16, 2019