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Two-hour blood test could detect sepsis

Published on 17/10/2013

Thousands of lives could be saved as a blood test to diagnose sepsis within two hours is being developed by scientists at King’s College London.


A two-hour blood test could save 1000s of lives

Early research at King’s College London shows positive development of a quicker diagnostic test to identify the condition.

The current tests to diagnose sepsis can take nearly two days to show a result, in which time life-saving treatment is delayed and can lead to fatality.

Sepsis is caused by the immune system overreacting to an infection in the body is responsible for around 37,000 deaths in the UK each year.

Commons signs of sepsis can include aggressive shivering, fainting, high fever, sharp breathing, confusion and cold hands.

The study was published in the online journal Plos One and discovered a biomarker that diagnoses sepsis in blood samples much quicker than conventional methods. The new method is based on detecting nucleotides specific only to sepsis and rules out similar conditions than can imitate its symptoms.

Accuracy results from a small study at a London hospital and larger one in Sweden suggested the two-hour method was correct 86% of the time.

Lead research Professor Graham Lord believes that following more successful studies, the test could become available for use in as little as two years’ time.

UK Sepsis Trust chairman Dr Ron Daniels believes this study could open up the chances of early detection of sepsis.

Daniels said: “If we had a simple test that would reliably detect sepsis - particularly in vulnerable groups - it would significantly improve the reliability of the delivery of care.”

Only in September the health service ombudsman discovered significant downfalls in the treatment of sepsis and said more was needed to save the lives of patients diagnosed with sepsis.

Health insurance can give you access to the treatments and medication not always readily available on the NHS.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013


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