"For decades, advancement of the diagnosis of sepsis has been limited, as doctors continue to rely on clinical clues and symptoms," said Dr. Charles B. Cairns, Professor & Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, UNC School of Medicine. "Yet it has been shown that early treatment can be life saving. Given the need for timely treatment, antibiotics are frequently prescribed even before bacterial infection is confirmed. This could increase the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Healthcare professionals need new tools, like PCT, to rapidly and accurately diagnosis sepsis and severe infections in order to better tailor the use of antibiotics."
Marking a significant shift in the care of sepsis patients, 73 percent of hospitalists indicated that they now play the primary role in managing patients with suspected sepsis, while 83 percent of pulmonary and critical care specialists indicated the same. Of those surveyed, all were nearly unanimous in their desire for a rapid test that would help confirm the cause of suspected sepsis.
Of the hospitalists surveyed, the vast majority was unaware that
circulating PCT levels are very sensitive to the severity of bacterial
infection and closely track with the severity of that infection(1). PCT,
the prohormone of calcitonin, can be produced by numerous cell types and
organs after proinflammatory stimulation, especially when caused by
bacterial infection. This makes PCT an ideal indicator of systemic
bacterial infection and sepsis. When provided information about a new PCT
test from bioMerieux, over half of hospitalists said a 20-minute biomarker
test that could help with the diagnosis of a clinically relevant bacterial
infection and/or sepsis would make a dramatic improvement in patient care
and improve antibiotic stewardship.
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