Hundreds of lives saved through new technology to spot sepsis

The NHS has saved hundreds of people from sepsis thanks to better use of digital technology in hospitals | NHS England

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.

Sepsis – also known as blood poisoning – is a life-threatening response to an infection in the body, where the immune system damages tissues and organs.

Three leading hospitals are using alerts to help identify sepsis and tell doctors when patients with the serious condition are getting worse..

NHS leaders in Cambridge, Liverpool and Berkshire are now helping the rest of the health service to adopt tools to spot it, which costs 37,000 lives a year and is notoriously difficult to identify.

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.

Full story at NHS England

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Funding opportunity available to UK and Chinese researchers to help tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Department of Health and Social Care, Innovate UK & Steven Brine |  March 2018  | UK-China collaboration to tackle antimicrobial resistance

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will invest up to £10 million in UK businesses and academics who work in conjunction with Chinese scientists to advance work on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The fund is to  support the development and, where appropriate, clinical evaluation of new products or services, which must be of value in addressing the threat from AMR.

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Innovate UK will deliver the funding to UK researchers (£750,000) and The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology  will invest up to 60 million Renminbi (RMB) to fund the project.  Projects can last up to 3 years.

UK applicants must demonstrate that projects are primarily and directly relevant to the needs of people in low and middle income countries (LMICs), including China, as defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). There must be a clear economic and societal benefit to LMICs from their proposed project. The competition will open on 3 April 2018  (Innovation Funding Service)

Projects must address the specified criteria at DHSC here  

Full details including eligibility criteria are available from DHSC 

Post-prescription antibiotic review based on computerized tools

Bouchand, F. et al. The Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: November 25 2016

 

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Background: Controlling antibiotic use in healthcare establishments limits their consumption and the emergence of bacterial resistance.

Aim: We evaluated the efficiency of an innovative antibiotic-stewardship strategy implemented over 3 years in a university hospital.

 

Conclusion: This computerized, shared-access, antibiotic-stewardship strategy seems to be time-saving and effectively limited misuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Read the full abstract here

The innovators: Irish lab develops coating to ward off superbug

Hickey, S. The Guardian. Published online: 15 May 2016.

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Image source: David Gregory & Debbie Marshall – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows electron micrograph of Escherichia coli.

Infections such as MRSA which have developed resistance to drugs have become a notorious threat in hospitals, where the bacteria can survive on surfaces for up to seven months. But a new discovery by scientists in Ireland could soon be working to combat them.

A research team led by Prof Suresh Pillai has developed a coating for everyday objects that prevents the spread of MRSA and E coli bacteria. The coating, which can be used on items such as smartphones, door handles and remote controls as well as surgical surfaces, has a 99.99% success rate in killing the bugs.

John Browne, the chief executive of Dublin-based company Kastus, which is working to commercialise the solution, says: “It is very hard to get rid of these things once they are there. Some studies have shown that with a deep clean on an [intensive care unit] ward where there is a critical care bed in one room … the entire room is cleaned with bleach over a 24-hour period and the bacteria are back on the surface within 24 hours.”

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research article here