Randox Sepsis innovation hailed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock
An innovative new tool for quickly diagnosing the often deadly infection Sepsis, will save lives, the Health Secretary has said.
The bedside test, being developed by healthcare diagnostics company Randox, will slash the 24 hours usually taken to identify the correct antibiotic for sepsis treatment. Currently, more than a third of those with sepsis die. Every hour that patients are not diagnosed increases the chance of death by 8%.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Instead of having to give people huge amounts of antibiotics across the board, which causes other problems, both medical and problems with resistance and super bugs, instead we will be able to work out exactly what the right treatment is for that individual person and do it fast enough to get the treatment in to save lives.”
He paid a visit to Randox’s new headquarters, the Randox Science Park, in Antrim, Northern Ireland on Thursday 21st March.
He added: “I can see a very clear application across the health service for how we can use the technology that is being developed here in Northern Ireland, both across the UK and indeed around the world.”
Sepsis can develop from infections caused by a simple cut or minor medical procedure. The body’s white blood cells fight the infection but the reaction can escalate and also damage healthy tissue.
Many who survive face amputations because of this tissue damage, Randox’s Molecular Diagnostics Manager Dr Martin Crockard said.
Dr Crockard highlighted that the traditional sepsis testing method, which involves sending blood samples to laboratories, takes too long. The problem is worsened by the fact that doctors are then forced to initially prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics which are not specific enough for individual patients. This encourages resistant strains.
To speed up the process, the new technology from Randox’s Biosciences division will allow clinicians in hospital emergency departments to check multiple samples simultaneously, at the press of a few buttons on a smart pad.
Dr Crockard said it is imperative that appropriate antibiotic treatment is administered as quickly as possible.
He said: “We can deal with the exact organism causing the problem in less than four hours, allowing you to tailor the treatment for that individual patient very quickly.”
The UK Sepsis Trust’s Chief Executive Ron Daniels said: “Randox is leading the way around molecular technologies.
“No other system brings this so close to the clinician on the shop floor.”
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