The diagnosis of septicemia, or sepsis , can happen more quickly, according to a study published in Science Direct . This is thanks to a device that analyzes the patient’s blood and gives the result in a few minutes.
Confirming the condition and knowing which treatments were the most suitable, until then, depended on tests that can take up to 72 hours to be ready – which represents serious risks to the patient.
In general, blood tests, observation of the patient’s clinical status and monitoring of heart and respiratory rate are used.
However, with the new device, it takes just 2.5 minutes to detect the presence of infection by detecting a specific biomarker, interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Despite being called a generalized infection, sepsis is not necessarily all over the body, but, as it is an exaggerated response by the body that tries to fight some infection, it can affect several functions.
As a result, there are serious risks, including death.
In Brazil, the disease affects about 400 thousand people a year and is fatal for half of them.
How does the device work?
It is small, low cost and can save lives. This is how scientists at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, classify it.
Its function is basically to measure the levels of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) molecule in the blood, one of the substances most associated with sepsis.
It works as a marker in the blood and, when found at high levels, can be the indicator that the person has the infection.
That’s because it, along with other substances, is secreted by the immune system in order to fight the initial infection. However, in the case of sepsis, an exaggerated immunological action occurs, affecting the organism.
Therefore, the test can quickly indicate the presence of the biomarker, in addition to assisting in the choice of the correct treatment and medication.
According to the study’s authors, the cost of each exam would be approximately US $ 26 dollars, or R $ 96 reais. Which is pretty low.
The research is ongoing and depends on funding, but scientists believe that in about 3 to 5 years the exam will be part of the hospital routine.
With the appearance of this test to diagnose whether the patient has septicemia, the device is able to reduce complications and deaths resulting from the condition.