Science Education: Physical Trauma and Sepsis
Studies on physical trauma and sepsis, the body's overwhelming immune response to severe injury or infection, focus on questions like:
- What changes occur immediately and over time when a person is critically ill or injured?
- Why does the immune system go into overdrive?
- How can we improve diagnosis and treatment strategies?
Follow the links below to learn more about physical trauma and sepsis, including recent discoveries, and read profiles of researchers working in these areas.
Heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight or nuclear radiation can cause tissue-damaging burns. Get answers to questions about burns and related treatments and research.
An overwhelming immune response to infection can cause sepsis. Get more information about sepsis and what we're learning about it.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for people 1 to 44 years old. Learn more about trauma.
Dormant Viruses Reactivate, Signaling Effect of Lingering Sepsis
People with sepsis have higher levels of certain viruses that may suppress the immune system's ability to defend against the viruses and other infections.
Study Comparing Sepsis Treatment Methods Shows Equivalent Survival Rates
A clinical study comparing three treatment methods for sepsis showed that patients did equally well regardless of which method was used.
Protein Triggers Inflammatory Responses in Hemorrhage and Sepsis
Blocking the activity of a protein that triggers inflammatory responses during hemorrhagic shock and sepsis decreased mortality in a mouse study.
Improving the Odds of Surviving Sepsis
Sepsis is an overwhelming immune response to infection that can lead to organ failure. Recent research focuses on detecting it early, treating it quickly and reducing its later effects.
Life After Traumatic Injury: How the Body Responds
Researchers are learning about what happens to the body—from its molecules and cells to its tissues, organs and systems—after a traumatic injury.
Armpits, Belly Buttons and Chronic Wounds: The ABCs of Our Body Bacteria
Understanding how and why bacteria colonize particular places on the body could point to ways of treating skin and other conditions.
For Janice: Legacy of a Short Life
Neurosurgeon and immunologist Kevin Tracey studies why our immune systems cause illness.
Veterinarian Cynthia Otto studies sepsis, a dramatic, full-body reaction to an injury or illness.
Dentist-immunologist Luisa Ann DiPietro studies wound healing to help find therapies that make wound healing a more rapid, regenerative process.
Dr. Scott Somers on Trauma
NIGMS' Scott Somers talks about what happens to the body after a serious physical injury.
Dr. Kevin Tracey on Sepsis
Kevin Tracey describes how he became interested in studying sepsis and what scientists have learned about the condition.
Dr. John Younger on Sepsis
John Younger discusses how he combines medicine, math and engineering to understand the occurrence of sepsis and less severe infections.
Cross-section of skin anatomy shows layers and different tissue types.
Heart Rates Time Series
These time series show the heart rates of four different individuals.
Virtual Snow World
Psychologists developed this virtual "Snow World" to test whether immersing someone in a pretend reality could ease pain during burn treatment and other medical procedures.