Coronavirus and Sepsis – A revolutionary new test predicting whether coronavirus patients will develop Sepsis before symptoms appear

July 6, 2020
Josephine Clucas - Solicitor in the Adult Brain Injury team

Posted by: Josephine Clucas


The Ministry of Defence has funded £200,000 to a medical diagnostics company in Wiltshire for the development of a test which has the potential to predict whether coronavirus patients will develop Sepsis, before their symptoms even begin to appear.

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury.  The immune system attacks the body’s own organs and tissues and if not treated immediately, can lead to organ failure and death.  An alarming one in five deaths around the world are caused by Sepsis and researchers at the University of Washington have concluded that more people are killed each year by Sepsis than cancer.

As the body instigates an inflammatory response to Sepsis, this can cause damage to organs such as the lungs, kidneys or brain and if left untreated, the body can go into septic shock.  Brain injury is a frequent and severe complication of septic shock, occurring in 60% of patients and is associated with long-term cognitive impairment.

The new sepsis test is the result of ten years of research and will now be tested on up to 300 coronavirus patients and will determine whether the patient will develop sepsis up to three days before symptoms appear.  Ian Miller, CEO of the research company explained that “this is a significant step to help in the fight against coronavirus”.

The sepsis work be even more far reaching than for coronavirus patients, with the lead scientist noting that “this funding is fantastic news, it will see a programme of work that is backed by the most comprehensive Sepsis study ever conducted and one that I have personally been involved with for more than 10 years finally come to fruition.  It will be an amazing achievement and will have benefits for the treatment of sepsis on a global scale.”

Research suggests that the test will provide extra time to deliver sepsis treatment, helping patients to recover quicker and even reduce treatment costs.  With the potential of helping 49 million people worldwide affected by sepsis each year, the new test could become an incredibly important breakthrough to preventing one of the world’s biggest killers and also help to prepare to future pandemics.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a brain injury or by a potentially negligent delay in diagnosing sepsis, Bolt Burdon Kemp can assist.  We understand the devastating effects that sepsis can have on individuals and their family and as specialist solicitors, we can provide legal advice and access to support service to assist you both physically and emotionally.

Josephine Clucas is a solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp specialising in Adult Brain Injury claims.  If you feel you may have a claim or are enquiring on behalf of a loved one, contact Josephine free of charge and in confidence at josephineclucas@boltburdonkemp.co.uk.  Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Adult Brain Injury team will contact you.  Find out more about the Adult Brain Injury team.

Posted by: Josephine Clucas

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