Medical director reflects on his experience treating patients with sepsis on the heels of Sepsis Awareness Month
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body damages its own organs while trying to fight an infection; it’s an infection response out of control and its impact is vast.
Here's an interview with Dr. Joerg Kurz, Medical Director, Acute Therapies
Q: Tell us about your current role at Baxter.
Dr. Kurz: I am the medical director for organ support therapies within Baxter's Acute Therapies business. My responsibilities include providing medical education for physicians, collaborating with industry leaders and providing input on clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies, with the goal of supporting healthcare providers as they deliver multi-organ support in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Q: You spent many years as a physician. What drew you to Baxter?
Dr. Kurz: I have held several different positions throughout my career, including serving as an attending physician at an ICU in Munich, Germany. With its focus on organ support, renal replacement and extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R), Baxter's Acute Therapies portfolio is closely aligned with my clinical background and personal values. I have been at Baxter for about one year now, and I have never been disappointed with my decision to work here. It's been a great experience.
Q: As a physician, what was your experience like treating patients with sepsis?
Dr. Kurz: Sepsis affects all types of patients, from the very young to the very old, and treating it is quite challenging because there are many dynamics at play. The disease can behave in unexpected ways and it is not always easy to predict how a patient will respond. In my experience, diagnosing sepsis as early as possible is critical to counteracting the disease.
Q: How has your experience working with sepsis patients influenced the way you approach your work at Baxter?
Dr. Kurz: Everyone reacts to sepsis differently. Taking steps to learn and understand each individual patient is key to providing the best care possible. It's been important to me to educate others about the need for this type of personalized approach in my work at Baxter.
Q: What do you wish more people knew about sepsis?
Dr. Kurz: Sepsis is a very real burden for both hospitals and the patient. It is extremely disruptive to a person's life, and many patients feel lost and helpless. It's imperative that they feel they are being supported and taken care of as they undergo treatment and work to get back on their feet.