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New three minute sepsis test developed

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Staff Writer |
Medicine   It can take up to 72 hours to diagnose sepsis

A new rapid test for sepsis which can give a result within three minutes has been developed by scientists.

The test could save thousands of lives from the deadly condition and experts hope it will be available on the NHS within three to five years.

At present, it can take up to 72 hours to diagnose sepsis, which kills an estimated 52,000 people in the UK every year.

The new low-cost test, developed by researchers at Strathclyde University, uses a biosensor device to see whether the protein biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) is present in the bloodstream.

IL-6 is a molecule secreted by the immune system and is often found in high levels in people with sepsis. During research at Strathclyde, the new test picked up IL-6 within two and a half minutes.

Experts hope the test will be used at the bedside in hospitals and in GP surgeries.

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