Holy Family Hospital Employs New Tech to Detect Sepsis

Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill campus. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill.

Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill and Methuen, becomes the first hospital in Massachusetts to implement new technology to detect bacteria behind a blood stream infection known as sepsis.

Holy Family’s Microbiology, Information Systems, Infection Control, Nursing and Clinical Pharmacy departments collaborated to bring Food and Drug Administration-approved nucleic acid blood culture testing, called Verigene, to diagnose patients who demonstrate symptoms of bloodstream infection nearly two days earlier than conventional methods, according to the hospital. The new technology “rapidly identifies sepsis-causing bacteria so the right therapies can be administered quickly and potentially save lives.”

“Delivery of this time-critical information enables clinicians to provide targeted patient care more quickly, potentially leading to improved patient outcomes, optimized antibiotic therapy, reduced spread of antibiotic resistance and, more importantly, saved lives,” Holy Family Laboratory Operation Manager Susan Sullivan said.

Sepsis, hospital officials said, is a life-threatening condition in which the body is fighting a severe infection that has spread via the blood stream. According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of those diagnosed with sepsis can die from it. Earlier identification and treatment for the specific bacteria has been associated with improved patient outcomes.

“Validation studies at Holy Family Hospital showed that with Verigene health care providers received actionable information 37.5 to 46.5 hours sooner than they would have with conventional methods used at other hospitals,” a statement reads. “If a pathogen is identified, appropriate antibiotic treatment can be initiated. If a resistance marker is identified, the most effective antibiotic can be selected. If the organism is identified as a contaminant, unnecessary antibiotic treatments can be discontinued.”

One thought on “Holy Family Hospital Employs New Tech to Detect Sepsis

  1. Hi! My name is Tory Pereira and I am a sepsis survivor. Implementing new technology try to detect sepsis earlier is brilliant. I experienced septic shock at the beginning of February 2016. My duodenum perforated and I didn’t know it and it caused me to go septic. I felt very ill but didn’t go to the hospital because I was on a business trip. Worst mistake of my life because I went into cardiac arrest and had to be rushed to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital the doctors still didn’t know I had sepsis. They let me spend the night with no surgery, and the next morning I lost my pulse again. Luckily they revived me and put me into emergency exploratory abdominal trauma surgery. I had 1% chance of survival and I survived! They had to re-route my stomach to the left side because the hole in my duodenum is was large. My sepsis story is pretty crazy and I would love for anyone to check it out at http://www.torypereira.com! The doctors medically can’t explain how I survived. I think it is very important to spread the word of sepsis to doctors and friends in our communities, so I am starting a nonprofit organization to raise awareness of sepsis in hopes to reduce the annual fatalities. We know we can’t stop sepsis, but we want people to know the signs and symptoms so they don’t mistaken it for the flu. We support anyone in the Sepsis Family and we support Holy Family Hospital for implementing the new technology to detect this awful, deadly disease more quickly. If we can do anything to help out please contact me at [email protected]! Have a great day!