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Researchers Developing Rapid Bedside Test for Sepsis

No current tests can quickly diagnose the infection (Sept. 13)

According to a September 13 announcement, researchers at the University of Liverpool in the U.K. are a step closer to providing clinicians with a bedside test for the early diagnosis of fatal sepsis.

Sepsis is a bacterial infection of the blood that causes whole-body inflammation and is the leading cause of death worldwide. Treating it in the early stages reduces the risk, but sepsis is difficult to diagnose until it has taken hold of the body.

Currently there are no reliable tests to accurately and speedily diagnose the infection, which can lead to a delayed or missed diagnosis, resulting in complications or, in severe cases, death. The researchers are developing new rapid detection systems that can analyze indicators of infection using a device at the patient’s bedside.

The team has already discovered a biomarker of the condition, which has proved to be a successful way of detecting the infection at its early stages. The scientists are working with a Liverpool company, Sepsis Limited, to deliver a bedside test that is simple, rapid, and robust in detecting sepsis from a small blood sample.

Also in development is a diagnostic tool that can identify a combination of three indicators of bacterial infection from a sample of blood in less than 5 minutes. The tool will allow clinicians to distinguish between serious blood infections and other more common bacterial infections in young children.

For more information, visit the University of Liverpool Web site.

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