NORFOLK, VA (WAVY) – A possible medical breakthrough could save millions of lives.

A critical care doctor at Eastern Virginia Medical School believes he has found the cure for sepsis, a common infection that gets into the blood and kills hundreds of people a day in the U.S. alone.

“It’s really cool I think, because nobody is going to make any money off of this, hopefully, and it has the potential to save millions of lives, which I think is the coolest thing,” Dr. Paul Marik told

His discovery came by chance, he said, when a deathly ill patient came into Sentara Norfolk General’s intensive care unit last January.

“I just knew she was going to die and you know, when you have a situation, you try to think out of the box,” he said.

Dr. Marik decided to try a combination of Vitamin C and the steroid, hydrocortisone.

“We gave it to her not expecting anything to happen and I went home expecting she would pass away.”

But when Dr. Marik returned the next morning, he found a woman well on her way to recovery.

“And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, what just happened there ?!” Dr. Marik said.

The staff couldn’t believe it, so they tried it again and again – with the same results. They added a third element, thiamine, to the IV treatment as well. Today, they have used the treatment on about 150 patients and they say the result is the same.

A researcher at Old Dominion University, John Catravas, PhD.,  told he did an independent lab study that confirms the treatment’s effectiveness.

Dr. Marik admits more studies must be done to validate the findings, but to those naysayers, he has this to say: “You really have nothing to lose. It’s exceedingly safe, so people maybe who are skeptics… There’s no side effects.”

Dr. Marik says seeing is believing and he is seeing more lives saved every day.

His findings are published in CHEST.