Sepsis and septicemiaTreatment

Obesity and smoking are factors associated with poor prognosis in patients with bacteraemia1, and those who are obese or who smoke generally have lower serum 25(OH)D levels. 

Vitamin D deficiency has also been recognized as a contributing factor to poor prognosis for those in intensive care23.

Those who develop sepsis could be given high doses of vitamin D such as 50,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 for several days unless there are contraindications, followed by 5000 IU/day thereafter.  Doing so should raise serum 25(OH)D and cathelicidin levels within 2-3 days and keep them elevated for up to a few weeks after supplementation ceases. 

Premature infants have been found to have increased risk for sepsis4 and should also be given vitamin D, perhaps 1,500 IU/day until the problem is resolved, with the dose based on a comparison of body weight (5 pounds vs. 150 pounds)5.

However, it would be helpful to conduct a study to confirm that giving those with sepsis vitamin D supplements would improve their outcome.

Page last edited: 03 May 2011

References

  1. Huttunen, R. Laine, J. Lumio, J. Vuento, R. Syrjanen, J. Obesity and smoking are factors associated with poor prognosis in patients with bacteraemia. BMC Infect Dis. 2007; 713.
  2. Lee, P. Nair, P. Eisman, J. A. Center, J. R. Vitamin D deficiency in the intensive care unit: an invisible accomplice to morbidity and mortality?. Intensive Care Med. 2009 Dec; 35 (12): 2028-32.
  3. Lee, P. Eisman, J. A. Center, J. R. Vitamin D deficiency in critically ill patients. N Engl J Med. 2009 Apr 30; 360 (18): 1912-4.
  4. Downey, L. C. Smith, P. B. Benjamin, D. K., Jr. Risk factors and prevention of late-onset sepsis in premature infants. Early Hum Dev. Jul; 86 Suppl 17-12.
  5. Grant, W. B. Vitamin D supplementation of mother and infant could reduce risk of sepsis in premature infants. Early Hum Dev. 2010 Feb; 86 (2): 133.