This Blood Filtering System Could Help Lower The Risk of Death From Inflammatory Infections
Trauma to the body comes in many forms – severe burns, gun shot wounds, liver failure, drug overdose, sepsis – which can be deadly. Treating these types of trauma to the body means people end up in the intensive care unit (ICU).
The overall coast of ICU care in the US has doubled in the past ten years to $108 billion. Sepis, is one of the primary cause of death from infection in ICU.
Dr. Neil Halpern, Chief of the Critical Medicine Service and Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York, says technology plays a key role in keeping patients with sepsis and other critical illnesses alive in the ICU.
“However, whether it is a newer innovation in imaging, dialysis therapy, mechanical ventilation or circulatory support, nothing has really moved the needle in terms of improved clinical outcomes. These are mainly supportive care technologies that keep the patient alive until they can recover on their own,” said Halpern. “What we need are new medicines and technologies that target the root cause of these diseases. For example, faster recognition, new antibiotics, more effective therapies to control severe inflammation, novel toxin reduction strategies and improved vaccines are the future of sepsis prevention and treatment.”
A new product, called Cytosorb hopes to diminish the risk of life-threatening inflammation and keep the immune system intact. The product functions like a regular water filter system. The cartridge acts like a filter and contains highly bio-compatible, porous polymer beads that can come into contact whole blood without causing any destruction of red blood cells. Each bead, around the size of a grain of salt, contains millions of pores and channels which create a sponge-like reaction to remove inflammatory toxins from blood through pore capture and surface adsorption.
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Blood is pumped outside of the body by a dialysis machine and then through the cartridge. Large materials such as blood cells move around the beads unaffected. Small substances, such as blood electrolytes, also pass through the beads unaffected. But other mid-sized infammatory toxins, particularly those that stimulate and perpetuate inflammation, pass into the cartridge’s pores and get trapped in the network of channels in each bead and are permanently eliminated from blood.
The purified blood is then recirculated back into the body over and over again.