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The clinical need for new diagnostics in the identification and management of patients with suspected sepsis in UK NHS hospitals: A survey of healthcare professionals

Lookup NU author(s): Amanda Winter, Dr Will Jones, Dr Joy AllenORCiD, Dr David Price, Dr Anthony RostronORCiD, Professor Raffaele Filieri, Dr Sara Graziadio



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Development of a new diagnostic is ideally driven by an understanding of the clinical need that the test addresses and the optimal role the test will have within a care pathway. This survey aimed to understand the clinical need for new sepsis diagnostics and to identify specific clinical scenarios that could be improved by testing. An electronic, cross-sectional survey was circulated to UK National Health Service (NHS) doctors and nurses who care for patients with suspected sepsis in hospitals. Two hundred and sixty-five participants completed the survey, representing 64 NHS Trusts in England. Sixty-seven percent of respondents suggested that the major cause of delay was during the initial identification of sepsis and the subsequent recognition of patients who were deteriorating. Existing blood tests did not enhance the confidence of consultants making their diagnoses. Those surveyed identified a role for a near-patient test to “rule out” suspected sepsis and, thereby, stop or postpone use of antibiotics. Current diagnostic tests are slow, non-specific, and do not reliably identify patients with a high suspicion of sepsis. As a result, they have a limited use in patient management and antibiotic stewardship. Future development of sepsis diagnostics should focus on overcoming these limitations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Winter A, Jones WS, Allen AJ, Price DA, Rostron A, Filieri R, Graziadio S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antibiotics

Year: 2020

Volume: 9

Issue: 11

Online publication date: 26/10/2020

Acceptance date: 20/10/2020

Date deposited: 11/11/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2079-6382

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics9110737


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