Surgery patients could drink away infection with this novel treatment
The frontiers of medical science are always expanding – and after years of study, Pi-PEG, a brand new method for staving off postoperative infections, could become an exciting advancement in surgical care for anyone undergoing a procedure.
While surgery always comes with a full complement of concerns, many healthcare professionals will tell you the potential for post-op infections can be just as impactful and dangerous as the surgery itself. Today, as many as 300,000 cases of surgical site infections (SSIs) happen in U.S. hospitals every year. Those infections can have enormous stakes for everyone, amounting to an average of 10 extra days in the hospital and a 5 times greater likelihood a patient will have to be readmitted to the hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, that added care sends medical costs skyrocketing, accounting for an additional $34 billion burden to hospitals and other surgery providers each year.
While antibiotics have long been the go-to treatment for battling infection, Covira Surgical has devised a new method of neutralizing the impact of SSIs and sepsis with an innovative solution: a drink that doesn't attempt to kill pathogens in the body, only stop their harmful spread.
With antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA growing increasingly dangerous every year, Covira's Pi-PEG attacks infections with a different approach. Pi-PEG is the result of 30 years of study by University of Chicago surgeon and longtime expert in postoperative infection-related complications, Dr. John Alverdy.
Rather than waging war on pathogens with antibiotics in an already traumatized post-operative patient, Pi-PEG is a colorless, odorless mixture a patient drinks both before and after surgery that works very differently. Unlike the shock-and-awe firebombing that antibiotics can do to a body while trying to destroy threatening pathogens, Pi-PEG instead enriches the intestinal tract microbiome to help grow and reproduce phosphate.
That presence in the body acts as a natural check on the growth of bacteria, corralling the virulent growth and spread of those pathogens. With the bacteria rendered effectively harmless, Pi-PEG doesn't do the collateral damage of antibiotics to the body's natural defenses, which continue to work as intended to strengthen and heal the body from surgery.
After months of effective study in small animals, Alverdy and the rest of the Covira team are embarking on the next stage of Pi-PEG development, beginning with a year-plus review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While that testing continues, Covira Surgical is bullish about the prospects of its innovative treatment, projecting revenue of $2.2 billion by 2037.
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