We often think that various organs and various systems within our body are independent of each other. We often wonder why some people die of multi-organ failure.
Many of us are not aware of the fact that transplants for most body parts have become a reality and several life-support machines have proven useful.
“Multisystem organ failure also called multiple organ failure (MOF) and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS), is defined as an illness in which two or more organ systems are not able to function without assistance or intervention. For example, this is the case when a patient may have heart failure during acute respiratory failure”, said Dr. Amitkumar Shah, DNB Medicine, Consultant Physician at AXIS Hospital.
He said, “The causes of multisystem organ failure are still not fully understood but it may occur due to a variety of known reasons. An illness, injury, or infection may trigger an unregulated systemic inflammatory response which may then cause tissue injury. However, in one-third of MODS cases a definitive reason cannot be established. Sepsis is the most common cause of this condition. During sepsis, the body’s inflammatory response restricts blood flow. This may lead to essential organs being starved of important blood supply, resulting in the organs failing to function, leading to MODS.”
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“Since MODS is not fully understood, treating it can be challenging. Often, the only action that can be taken is supportive care such as regulating blood pressure and respiration. Even then, the mortality rate in patients afflicted with MODS is around 30%, with the rate increasing as more organs are involved. If 5 organ systems are affected, the chances of survival are less than 5%”, he added.