Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Alicia Quella PhD, PA-C


In the United States, sepsis afflicts nearly one in three ICU patients, is associated with monumental healthcare costs, and is among the leading causes of death. The burden of sepsis is felt globally, and efforts are underway to discover an effective adjunctive therapy. Vitamin C is a novel treatment showing promising early evidence. Additionally, vitamin C's use in combination therapy with hydrocortisone and thiamine has been postulated. These components are thought to work congruently to attenuate the pathophysiologic process of sepsis.

To answer whether vitamin C improves septic patient outcomes, a variety of methods were used to obtain information. Primarily, the electronic database PubMed was utilized to perform a literature search. Most sources had full-text versions available and those that did not we􏰂􏰆re obtained through Augsburg University's interlibrary loan system. Finally, expert interviews􏰌 were conducted with practicing physicians and physician assistants that have experience managing sepsis.

Standard care protocols, definitions and recommendations implemented by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and the Sepsis-3 Task Force have improved septic patient outcomes substantially, however, sepsis continues to burden patients and health systems globally. Offering affordability and accessibility, vitamin C may be the adjunct sepsis treatment the medical community has been searching for. Overall, the available evidence suggests vitamin C is safe, improves mortality and reduces hospital resource consumption, among other various measured outcomes. Many clinical trials are currently in progress or awaiting publishing. Results from these studies will further define the efficacy of vitamin C alone and in combination with hydrocortisone and thiamine.


SC 11.PAS.2020.Becker.N