Podcast 797: Vitamin C in Sepsis - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 797: Vitamin C in Sepsis

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Prior, smaller studies showed intravenous Vitamin C given to patients with sepsis significantly improved patient mortality and additional outcomes. 
  • A recently published, randomized control trial with >800 ICU patients who received up to 4 days of IV Vit C or placebo concluded that the end points of death or persistent organ dysfunction at 28 days were unaffected by Vitamin C administration. There were no adverse safety outcomes associated with Vitamin C administration.  
  • Based on this trial, it is unlikely that Vitamin C will become a mainstay of treatment for sepsis patients. 



Marik PE, Khangoora V, Rivera R, Hooper MH, Catravas J. Hydrocortisone, Vitamin C, and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Retrospective Before-After Study. Chest. 2017;151(6):1229-1238. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.11.036

Lamontagne F, Masse MH, Menard J, et al. Intravenous Vitamin C in Adults with Sepsis in the Intensive Care Unit. N Engl J Med. 2022;386(25):2387-2398. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2200644


Summarized by Kirsten Hughes, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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