Introduction

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Methods to Aid in the Detection of Sepsis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Introduction

At present, criteria such as Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) criteria and the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) are used by providers to rapidly assess patients for early and possibly severe signs of sepsis including organ failure.
These guidelines, although useful, cannot distinguish a cause for the patient's symptoms. Testing a patient's blood sample as with blood cultures, can and often does provide a cause - although the turn-around-time for culture results is often prohibitive. Rapid testing is needed. Although not approved as definitive diagnostic testing tools, certain biomarkers are useful in combination with patient symptomology and other laboratory test results in helping to diagnose sepsis and its cause.