Grand Rounds
July 13, 2011

Novel Therapies for Septic Shock Over the Past 4 Decades

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center (Dr Suffredini); and Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Disease, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Dr Munford), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

JAMA. 2011;306(2):194-199. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.909

Infections that result in shock and organ failure are a major public health problem worldwide. Severe sepsis and septic shock affect patients of all ages and often complicate chronic diseases. They are the major causes of death in critical care units and contribute substantially to hospital inpatient costs. Translating the scientific advances of the last 4 decades into clinical practice has been challenging. Despite many attempts to develop new therapies, the basic elements of treatment have not changed since the 1960s. In this Grand Rounds, we summarize the results of the clinical trials conducted during the last 4 decades, discuss some lessons learned, and suggest possible directions for future investigation.