Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis

Gerald J Kost, Nam Tran, Richard F. Louie, Zuping Tang, Ashley A. Woodruff, Timothy E Albertson, Robert W. Derlet, Rahman Azari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Unacceptable mortality rates and excessively high costs of sepsis can be attributed in part to delayed pathogen identification, poorly focused treatment, and unjustified antimicrobial use. Rapid diagnosis of pathogens, immediately focused antibiotics, and quick interruption of dysfunctional sepsis cascades could optimize clinical value. Value analysis constructs evidence-based hypotheses, called value propositions, that form a value model for the use of rapid diagnosis and point-of-care testing (POCT) in sepsis. Rapid diagnostic methods, such as nucleic acid testing (NAT), can assure fast therapeutic turnaround time. The authors applied NAT hypothetically to different scenarios for which they performed value analysis of patient and hospital costs and of medical outcomes. Value propositions were constructed for both adult and pediatric clinical situations. The authors conclude that rapid diagnosis by NAT can reduce the probability of complications, allow physicians to immediately focus treatment, and decrease both costs and mortality. Expected benefits for both pediatric and adult patients validate the need for continued NAT research and development of POCT for critically ill patients with sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic Surgical Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • activated protein C
  • microbial resistance
  • multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • sepsis
  • therapeutic turnaround time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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