Medical Minute: Vitamins Help Trauma Patients

Vitamins C and E are known to boost the immune system. Now, there's evidence massive doses of these anti-oxidants may help the body recover after a traumatic injury.

Kellie Cosner and her husband, Jason, were on their way to celebrate their first anniversary when a fierce wind snapped two giant trees.

"One of them just fell right on our moving vehicle. It was very much a freak accident," says Kellie.

Jason died instantly. Kellie spent nearly a month in a drug-induced coma. For the first week, she was given massive doses of vitamins C and E.

"I'm sure they were pumping a lot of synthetic stuff into me, as well, to keep me alive, and it's nice to know that they were pumping nutrients and vitamins in me as well."

When the body is severely injured, it quickly uses up its own supply of anti-oxidants, fighting off harmful chemicals that attack internal organs.

"What we do with this therapy is to replace those anti-oxidants and raise them back to high-normal or even super-normal levels to help fight oxidants," says Ronald Mainer, general surgeon.

In a study of 600 trauma patients, those who received the vitamin therapy were 50 percent less likely to suffer organ failure and fifty-percent less likely to die.

"They are well-proven. They are mandatory in a normal diet, and there is no side effects to these doses."

Kellie believes the vitamins helped in her recovery, but says her doctors, nurses, family and prayer contributed, too.

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