Early Sepsis Detection

Global Impact of Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated immune response to infection. The occurrence of sepsis is increasing at an annual rate of 1.5%, making it a significant global healthcare concern. Sepsis has a high mortality rate, killing more individuals than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined.2,3,4 

In addition to the human toll, sepsis is costly to healthcare organizations. Sepsis-related costs—which may include longer hospital stays, ICU admissions, hospital readmissions and extensive testing and patient monitoring—surpass $24 billion.

The facts about sepsis

  • 1.7 million people are diagnosed with sepsis each year in the U.S.
  • 85% of septic patients enter the health system via the Emergency Department
  • Sepsis is the No. 1 cause of hospital readmission in the U.S.
  • In the U.S., sepsis is the costliest reason for hospitalization
  • 20% of patients with sepsis are rehospitalized within 30 days
  • There has been a 19% increase in sepsis treatment spending from 2011–2013

Sepsis facts infographic

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Importance of Early Sepsis Detection and Treatment 

Mortality from severe sepsis and sepsis shock improves by 7.6% per hour with early and appropriate administration of antibiotics.9 Early identification and treatment of sepsis can also reduce the cost of sepsis-related care.10,11

Emergency Department clinicians play a unique role as the first line of care for acutely ill patients. While the ability to triage patients, identify sepsis and initiate treatment is vitally important, diagnosing sepsis remains a challenge. Symptoms are often unclear and non-specific, ultimately resulting in delayed treatment for many patients.

Video One Young Man's Survival Story

When her son fell ill, this mom suspected a stomach virus. Initially, so did the doctors. What happened next was a series of unfortunate events, followed by a life-saving discovery: The young man had sepsis. Find out what led to this young man’s eventual diagnosis and watch as he and his mom describe how a breakthrough technology for early sepsis detection could spare others the harrowing experience they had.

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Monocyte Distribution Width Know sooner, act faster

Monocyte Distribution Width (MDW) is a measure of increased morphological variability of monocytes in response to bacterial, viral or fungal infections. The quantitative analysis of MDW by hematology analyzers using Early Sepsis Indicator (ESId) application received regulatory clearances as a hematology biomarker for sepsis to support prompt clinical decision making for this often-deadly condition. This sepsis parameter is reported automatically as part of a routine CBC with differential on the DxH 900 and DxH 690T hematology analyzers,* enabling automatic reporting without added workload burden.

MDW provides valuable and actionable information to clinicians. Together with other laboratory findings and clinical information, MDW alerts clinicians to a higher probability of sepsis. Knowing sooner about a patient’s risk for sepsis guides clinical decision making when time is of the essence.     

Benefits of MDW:

  • Receive clinically relevant answers, sooner. Results are reported as part of the initial CBC-diff test, which is often available in less than 60 minutes. This can provide an earlier alert to possible sepsis or developing sepsis when added to the current standard of care
  • Enable earlier escalation of clinical decision making. By rapidly delivering information to Emergency Department clinicians, MDW can potentially provide an alert to sepsis before clinical symptoms are clear
  • Obtain results without added workflow burden. MDW is part of routine blood work for adults in the Emergency Department, so there is no additional test to order
Emergency epartment physician

Webinar Advancing Quantitative Measures of Monocyte Response to Infection

Understand the emerging use of Monocyte Distribution Width (MDW) as a novel biomarker for the detection of sepsis in the emergency department. Watch the latest AACC Continuing Education on-demand scientific workshop to hear Dr. Czader, Dr. Irimia and Dr. Osman review the physiology and current research on monocyte biology and discuss the clinical evidence that’s leading to new applications.

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Sepsis a publics health problem

White Paper Sepsis, a Public Health Problem: Clinical Aspects and Problems in the Identification

Most patients diagnosed with sepsis come from the hospital's emergency department, and their diagnosis remains challenging. In this white paper, Dr. Juan González del Castillo, Emergency Department in San Carlos Clinical Hospital, Madrid and coordinator of the Infections Group of the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine, gives us a cross-sectional view of the importance of sepsis in epidemiological terms and healthcare costs. It brings us closer to the problem of managing sepsis in the emergency department and the solutions that are being implemented in these services to achieve a rapid identification of this syndrome.


Resources Supporting Early Sepsis Detection 

Explore resources supporting the importance of early sepsis detection and timely patient care.

The Role of Monocytes in the Progression of Sepsis

Monocytes perform multiple immunological functions and play a role in the immune response to sepsis. By measuring monocyte morphological changes, the Early Sepsis Indicator can inform clinical decisions related to sepsis for better-targeted treatment.

Improved Early Detection of Sepsis in the ED 

Patients with sepsis most often enter the hospital through the ED, and delayed detection can impact adverse outcomes. Clinicians often use white blood cell (WBC) counts to help identify sepsis, but changes in WBC alone have limited utility for sepsis. Learn how volumetric changes in circulating monocytes can add value to the WBC count for early sepsis detection in the ED.

Novel Parameter Unaffected by Hematological Malignancy or Neutropenia

Discover how MDW detects sepsis early for ED patients. This multicenter study establishes that the novel MDW parameter performs equally well for patients with and without hematological malignancy and neutropenia.

Additional Resource

For more information about sepsis, visit
1Sepsis Alliance. “Fact Sheet 2018.” Sepsis.org. Accessed 6 Mar. 2019.
2Vidant Beaufort Hospital. “The Third-leading Cause of Death: Sepsis.” www.thewashingtondailynews.com/2017/07/08/the-third-leading-cause-of-death-sepsis/, 8 Jul. 2017. Accessed 19 Mar. 2018.
3Kumar G, Kumar N, Taneja A et al. "Nationwide Trends of Severe Sepsis in the Twenty First Century (2000–2007)." Chest, vol. 16. 2011, pp. 1223–31. doi: 10.1378/chest.11-0352.
4Hall MJ, Williams SJ, DeFrances CJ, Golosinsky A. "Inpatient Care for Septicemia or Sepsis: A Challenge for Patients and Hospitals." ww.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db62.pdf, Jun. 2011. Accessed 2 May 2018.
5Perman SM, Goyal M, Gaieski DF. "Initial Emergency Department Diagnosis and Management of Adult Patients with Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock." Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med, 20, 41. 2012. doi.org/10.1186/1757-7241-20-41.
6Torio C, Moore B. “National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer.” www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb204-Most-Expensive-Hospital-Conditions.pdf, May 2016. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
7Angus, DC et al. “Epidemiology of Severe Sepsis in the United States: Analysis of Incidence, Outcome, and Associated Costs of Care.” Crit Care Med, vol. 29. 2001, pp. 1303–10.
8Fingar K. “Trends in Hospital Readmissions for Four High-volume Conditions, 2009–2013.” www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb196-Readmissions-Trends-High-Volume-Conditions.jsp, November 2015. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
9Kumar A, Roberts D, Wood KE et al. “Duration of Hypotension Before Initiation of Effective Antimicrobial Therapy is the Critical Determinant of Survival in Human Septic Shock.” Crit Care Med, vol. 34, no. 6. 2006, pp. 1589–96. 
10Jones SL et al. “Reductions in Sepsis Mortality and Costs After Design and Implementation of a Nurse-based Early Recognition and Response Program.” Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf, vol. 41, no. 11. 2015, pp. 483–91.
11Judd WR, Stephens DM, Kennedy DA. “Clinical and Economic Impact of a Quality Improvement Initiative to Enhance Early Recognition and Treatment of Sepsis.” Ann Pharmacol, vol. 48, no. 10. 2014, pp. 1269–75.