Sepsis Diagnosis and Management in the Lab

Sepsis is a worldwide problem that can cause devastating patient consequences and drive significant healthcare costs. Research has shown that timely administration of antibiotics to patients with sepsis decreases the likelihood of death. However, as this syndrome encompasses a complex pathobiology, treatment may be delayed. Once conclusive evidence—such as organ failuremanifests, the severity of symptoms may have progressed and the risk of patient death may increase.

What if your physicians could act faster and avoid patient health deterioration? Find out how your laboratory can use interdisciplinary insights to support swifter action and better clinical outcomes.

Understanding Sepsis Get the facts on clinical sepsis, a costly and dangerous condition

A life-threatening syndrome

Sepsis is a dysregulated immune response to infection characterized by systemic inflammation. Infection leading to sepsis can start anywhere in the body, including the lungs, urinary tract, skin and abdomen. If not treated quickly and effectively, sepsis can progress to septic shock and lead to organ dysfunction and death.1

A global healthcare crisis

Sepsis affects more than 49 million people worldwide.1 Healthcare-related costs to manage sepsis total over $24 billion annually in the U.S.2 It is the leading cause of hospital readmissions12 and accounts for more hospitalization costs than any other disease.9

Timely treatment may save lives

Research indicates that the early and appropriate administration of antibiotics decreases sepsis mortality. There is an association between prompt antibiotics administration and improved outcomes in cases of both sepsis and septic shock.3

Early broad-spectrum antimicrobial administration is vital to improving outcomes for severely septic patients admitted through the emergency department (ED).4 For every hour that antibiotics are delayed after ED triage, at the beginning of organ dysfunction or at the onset of shock, there may be a 3% to 7% increase in the risk of unfavorable outcomes.3

Sepsis diagnosis remains difficult, due to insufficient sensitivity and specificity of tests and risk scores.5,6 

Identifying and treating sepsis earlier can also reduce the cost of sepsis-related care.7,8 

Supporting Better Outcomes IVD testing that may be used to support sepsis diagnosis and management

Supporting better clinical outcomes in patients with possible sepsis or confirmed sepsis requires a broad and comprehensive approach. That's why when it comes to sepsis diagnosis, it's important to have access to all in vitro diagnostic testing disciplines and management tools, including: 
  • An interdisciplinary portfolio of IVD testing solutions, comprising both common and unique tests, for all stages of the syndrome
  • Flexibility and breadth to support your institution’s specific sepsis management protocols
  • Laboratory connectivity and data management tools that automate and expedite delivery of time-critical results to clinicians 

Turning Knowledge Into Action Use interdisciplinary laboratory insights to support swift action

Testing for sepsis is done using many different biomarkers and systems belonging to different laboratory disciplines and there is no single, global standard of care.  

For septic patients, IVD testing can be crucial to support effective treatment. Our solutions aid in delivering laboratory insights that can speed-up decision making at every stage of the sepsis identification and treatment path. (See Figure 1. Note: While there are variations in the standard of care, this figure generally describes what an IVD testing path may look like.)


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Figure 1. At every stage of the sepsis detection and treatment path, we offer clinical laboratory solutions that provide valuable diagnostic insights.

DxH 900 output buffer with cassettes purple tubes

Monocyte Distribution Width

Learn about the Monocyte Distribution Width, the first early sepsis warning solution to be offered as part of a routine CBC-diff test.

Learn more
Access PCT reagent packs calibrators

Access PCT*

Empower fast, accurate clinical decision making for patients with sepsis or suspected sepsis while simplifying your sample-processing flow and reducing the operational expenses associated with maintaining a separate, dedicated immunoassay workstation for PCT analysis.

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Define Your Solution

How can your clinical laboratory help physicians know sooner and act faster? Our sepsis IVD portfolio can help. We can provide recommendations tailored to the needs of your patient population and institutional requirements.

1.Rudd, et al., Lancet. 2020 Jan 18; 395 (10219): 200-211.
2Torio C, Moore B. “National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer.”, May 2016. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
3Seymour CW et al. “Delays from First Medical Contact to Antibiotic Administration for Sepsis.” Crit Care Med 2017; 4595:759–765.
4Whiles BB, Deis AS and Simpson SQ. “Increased Time to Initial Antimicrobial Administration is Associated with Progression to Septic Shock in Severe Sepsis Patients.” Crit Care Med 2017; 45(4):623–629.
5Ljungström L et al. “Diagnostic Accuracy of Procalcitonin, Neutrophil-lymphocyte Count Ratio, C-reactive Protein, and Lactate in Patients with Suspected Bacterial Sepsis.”  PLoSONE 2017;12(7): e0181704.
6CDC Vital Signs, August 2016. Accessed 14 Mar. 2019. 
7Judd WR, Stephens DM, Kennedy DA. “Clinical and Economic Impact of a Quality Improvement Initiative to Enhance Early Recognition and Treatment of Sepsis.” Ann Pharmacol 2014; 48(10):1269–75.
8Filbin MR et al. “Presenting Symptoms Independently Predict Mortality in Septic Shock: Importance of a Previously Unmeasured Confounder.” Crit Care Med 2018; 46:1592–9.
9 Perman S M, Goyal M and Gaieski, DF. “Initial Emergency Department Diagnosis and Management of Adult Patients with Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock.” Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2012; 20:41.
10"Drugs of First and Second Choice.” The Medical Letter, 20th ed., 2015; CLSI, M100-ED29:2019 Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing, 29th ed.; product Instructions for Use; FDA 510(k) clearances; product recall notices.
11ServiceTrak Clinical Executive Summary Report for ID/AST Systems, 2016.
12Sepsis Alliance. “Fact Sheet. 2018.” Accessed 6 Mar. 2019.




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