Give all sick patients oestrogen?

A thought provoking article in Critical Care Medicine outlines basic science, animal, and human studies that suggest oestrogen may have a protective effect in a wide range of critical illnesses from cardiac arrest to trauma to stroke. It urges clinical trials of sex hormones, some of which are underway. Regarding traumatic brain injury, the authors state: “To date, studied interventions to treat the effects of secondary injury, such as induced hypothermia or sedative-hypnotic coma, have had disappointing results… Clearly, EMS (or emergency department) infusion of a single IV bolus of estrogen, a therapy shown in the laboratory to be a strong, direct, easy-to-deliver antioxidant, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory intervention, has a much better chance of decreasing the severity of injury.
Bold? Let’s see if studies such as this one show this intervention to be so beneficial.

Rationale for routine and immediate administration of intravenous estrogen for all critically ill and injured patients
Critical Care Medicine. 38(10):S620-S629, October 2010