Arnie Phifer | January 8, 2015
The University of Notre Dame and Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a member of the Trinity Health system, announced that they are collaborating on research aimed at earlier detection of sepsis in patients. Sepsis, a potentially fatal illness in which the body has a severe inflammatory response to bacteria or other microorganisms, is the leading cause of death from infection in the world and is the costliest condition to U.S. hospitals.
“The goal of this research is to give our physicians a more effective indication of when a patient who appears stable has actually entered the early stages of sepsis cascade, a severe inflammatory response that can lead to death,” Al Gutierrez, president and CEO of SJRMC, said. “This early detection is critical to improving patient survival rates.”
Currently, diagnosis of septic shock depends on a set of physiological measures, such as temperature and heart rate, and indirect indicators, like the amount of lactic acid in the blood. More specific molecular markers have proven elusive.
“Finding the right markers for sepsis, and differentiating them from all the other components of blood or saliva, is a significant challenge,” said Matthew Champion, research assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Notre Dame and a leader in the University’s new program in Precision Medicine.
Read more at the College of Science.