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Hundreds of lives saved through new tech to spot sepsis

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In a major nationwide push to tackle sepsis, including a one hour identification and treatment ambition, new ‘alert and action’ technology is being introduced which uses algorithms to read patients’ vital signs and alert medics to worsening conditions that are a warning sign of sepsis.

Three leading hospitals are using alerts to help identify sepsis and tell doctors when patients with the serious condition are getting worse, ahead of the measures being rolled out across England as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. 

In Liverpool, the hospital’s digital system brings together lab results and patient observations into one place to help staff diagnose and treat suspected sepsis, saving up to 200 lives a year. In Cambridge, deaths from sepsis have fallen consistently over the last three years, with at least 64 lives saved in the past year thanks to the innovative alert and action feature. In Berkshire since introducing a digital system, the Trust has increased screening rates by 70% with nine in 10 patients now consistently screened for sepsis during admission as opposed to two in ten beforehand, allowing doctors to spot more cases sooner.

The schemes are part of a national effort to push best practice and new technology across the NHS, to help hospitals learn from the success of others and spread use of the best technology further, faster.

Dr Ron Daniels BEM, CEO of the UK Sepsis Trust, and the hub's topic leader, said: “Any kind of technology which assists clinicians in making prompt decisions when the warning signs of sepsis are detected should be embraced; with every hour that passes before the right antibiotics are administered the risk of death increases".

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Source: NHS England, 18 August 2019

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