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Quick test could indicate sepsis, study suggests

New portable device can rapidly find markers of infection from single drop of blood.
Sepsis

A new portable device can rapidly find markers of a life-threatening sepsis infection from a single drop of blood, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Foundation Hospital in Illinois said the device is the first to provide point-of-care measurement of the immune system’s response, without any need to process the blood.

The small microchip measures white blood cells and a protein marker called CD64 on the surface of a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil. The levels of CD64 surge as the patient’s immune response increases, the study found.

The researchers tested the device with blood samples from patients in the intensive care unit and emergency room. They were able to monitor CD64 levels over time, correlating them with the patient’s vital signs.

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