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Sepsis, also referred to by the better-known name of septicemia, is an acute response (fever, drop in blood pressure, etc.) by the body in defense against a severe infection. It must be identified and treated in the earliest stage: if sepsis is diagnosed and the first dose of medication is administered within an hour, the patient survival rate is approximately 80%. Otherwise, the mortality rate increases very quickly.
The healthcare challenge
- Every year, sepsis claims more victims (from 20 to 30 million people) throughout the world than breast cancer, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS combined.
- The number of deaths caused by sepsis is constantly increasing, due to the aging of the population, invasive diagnostic techniques, and increased resistance to antibiotics.
- Sepsis is the primary cause of mortality in intensive care units, and affects more than 20 million people throughout the world each year.
The role of in vitro diagnostics
Sepsis is often diagnosed too late, because the clinical symptoms and laboratory signs that are currently used for the diagnosis of sepsis, like raised temperature, increased pulse or breathing rate, or white blood cell count are unspecific.
Diagnostics have been clearly identified as a major weapon in the fight to eliminate the disease, according to the Global Sepsis Alliance, a charitable organization working to increase awareness and understanding of sepsis worldwide. The Global Sepsis Alliance hopes that by 2020 at least 60% of general and community medical centers will systematically screen for sepsis in patients presenting an acute infectious pathology.
Sepsis requires immediate treatment: in this race against time, our test to measure procalcitonin levels, VIDAS® B·R·A·H·M·S PCT™, gives an early indication, in just 20 minutes, of severe bacterial infection, enabling appropriate antibiotic treatment to be administered.
In the future, new systems will make it possible to conduct tests in locations other than major centralized laboratories: these tests will be easier to use and suitable for use at the patient's point of care.
bioMérieux has long been committed to the fight against sepsis. We offer rapid diagnostic solutions as well as tests that help clinicians choose the appropriate antibiotic treatment for sepsis patients. We are also a partner of World Sepsis Day.