Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that causes the blood pressure to fall dangerously, compromising blood flow to vital organs such as the liver and kidney. It is the leading cause for admission to an intensive care unit in the UK, accounting for about 30% of all admissions. Despite advances in treatment around 40% of such patients unfortunately die.
Conventionally, adrenaline-like drugs are used to support a patient’s blood pressure but they can have serious side effects. Levosimendan is a new type of drug that is currently used to treat patients with advanced heart failure. It works in a different manner to adrenaline-like drugs, potentially avoiding some of these side effects. It may also improve the blood flow to vital organs. In small scale clinical trials in patients with sepsis who have been given levosimendan significant improvements were seen in the function of the heart, kidneys and other organs.
This trial is designed to investigate whether giving levosimendan to ICU patients suffering from sepsis can improve the function of different organ systems and potentially improve the outcome for sepsis patients. If you are a patient or relative and would like to read more about the trial please click here whilst there is more information for investigators here.