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Critical Care Nurses Do Not Have Access to Tools They Need to Treat Sepsis

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- bioMerieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, announced the results of a survey demonstrating that most critical care nurses are unaware of a simple diagnostic test that may dramatically improve outcomes for sepsis patients. The survey, conducted at the 2010 American Association of Critical Care Nurses' annual meeting, revealed that while the vast majority of nurses expressed the need for new tools to battle sepsis, 25 percent of the 220 nurses surveyed reported that their hospitals do not have a rapid response protocol for the early identification of potential sepsis patients. For more information, visit

"There are best-in-class processes in healthcare with irrefutable benefits to patients," said Kirsten Springer, RN, CCRN, sepsis coordinator in the Surgical Neuro Trauma ICU at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California. "Testing suspected sepsis patients for procalcitonin (PCT) levels is one of those best practices that could dramatically improve outcomes once adopted nationwide."

Springer was part of a team that developed an early response sepsis protocol at Mission Hospital, which has had a dramatic impact on sepsis mortality and length of stay for recovering sepsis patients. A cornerstone of that protocol is a 20-minute test produced by bioMerieux to detect PCT, a natural human protein that spikes during severe bacterial infections, which often lead to sepsis.

Ninety-five percent of nurses surveyed (209) said they assist in the management of sepsis patients and that none of their hospitals currently use PCT testing to rapidly assess suspected sepsis patients.  All of these nurses indicated this test could be incredibly beneficial if it were available at their hospitals. Also of note, 83 percent of those surveyed said that their ICUs and EDs did not have tools to rapidly diagnose severe sepsis and stratify the risk of life-threatening septic shock. Not surprisingly, 95 percent of the nurses surveyed reported that if there were a rapid test that could help them better manage bacterial sepsis, they would use it.

"We have the tools at hand to dramatically improve the speed of diagnosis and reduce the extremely high fatality rate of sepsis in the U.S.," said Dr. Devendra N. Amin, MD, FCCP, medical director of Critical Care Services at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.  "PCT is one of those tools. It's not a panacea, but it can save lives." Dr. Amin was one of the first critical care physicians in the U.S. to incorporate PCT into his hospital's sepsis response protocol and has seen a dramatic improvement in outcomes.

This survey of critical care nurses is part of bioMerieux's overarching effort to raise awareness of sepsis and best-in-class protocols to treat the acute condition, and comes on the heels of another survey on sepsis released by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at the North Shore-LIJ Health System showing that 60 percent of adults have never even heard of sepsis, even though it is the cause of death for 1 out of every 4 hospital fatalities.

Sepsis is an inflammatory response to an infection and can be difficult to diagnose because of overlapping symptoms, such as elevated heart rate, rapid breathing and fever. As many as 750,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with severe sepsis each year, and 200,000 of these patients do not survive.

About  bioMerieux

Advancing diagnostics to improve public health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2009, revenues reached euro 1.223 billion with 85% of sales outside of France.

bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

bioMerieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM – ISIN: FR0010096479). Other information can be found at

SOURCE bioMerieux
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