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We are delighted to report that the Early Vasopressor in Sepsis (EVIS) study supported by Sepsis Research FEAT since its inception is about to be submitted to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for funding.

Globally[1], 27 million people – of all ages and from all socio-economic groups – develop sepsis every year.

Roughly 1 in 5 of those patients will die. If patients are critically unwell with low blood pressure (‘shock’) this figure increases to 1 in every 3 patients.

Survivors can face lifelong complications including depression, weakness and chronic pain. Like heart attacks and strokes, sepsis needs to be treated quickly after it develops. Current UK and international guidelines therefore focus on the public and professionals recognising sepsis early and delivering early treatment with, amongst others, antibiotics and fluids delivered via a drip into a vein.

Medications, such as norepinephrine, to improve blood pressure (vasopressors) are currently recommended later in treatment after initial attempts to stabilise the patient have been made.

This four year study, led by chief investigator Dr Alasdair Corfield (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde) is the first to follow up on evidence from previous patients that using vasopressors earlier in the patient journey may be beneficial.

Whilst a decision on the funding may take up to six months from submission to come through, ultimately this research could offer significant progress in the treatment of sepsis worldwide and in the reduction of both numbers of deaths and of those suffering from long-term side effects.

[1] Early Vasopressor in Sepsis (EVIS) study, Dr Alasdair Corfield et al, 2021

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