In a case report published in Critical Care Medicine on July 17, Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) investigators present that patients with Ebola may require life-sustaining therapy for multiple organ failure. This study was conducted using medical records from Emory University Hospital’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit (SCDU), which uses considerable space in the Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) laboratory, and two other tertiary care centers in the U.S. This collective, multicenter understanding is presented to inform future Ebola treatment.
This report describes three patients with Ebola who developed severe critical illness and multiple organ failure secondary to the Ebola virus infection. The patients received mechanical ventilation, renal replacement therapy, invasive monitoring, vasopressor support, and investigational therapies. In conjunction with other reported cases, this series suggests that respiratory and renal failure may occur in severe Ebola virus disease, especially in patients burdened with high viral loads. Ebola virus disease complicated by multiple organ failure can be survivable with the application of advanced life support measures.
Two of the report’s authors conduct research supported by the NIH-funded ACTSI in the GCRCs – Jonathan Sevransky, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Emory University Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit, and Assistant Director for Medicine of the Emory Critical Care Center, partnered with Viranuj Sueblinvong, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University Department of Medicine, on this study. Sueblinvong also uses ACTSI’s biomedical informatics and biostatistics consultative programs for her work.
Emory University Hospital’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit (SCDU)
Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit developed in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases. It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provides an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country. The SCDU is adjacent and shares space with the Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) unit at Emory University Hospital. Emory marks first anniversary of Ebola care
The ACTSI is a city-wide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institute of Technology and is one of a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences one of the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.