Patients with sepsis should have blood cultures taken prior to the administration of antibiotics. The current method of processing blood culture positive samples produces a Gram stain result on the same day, identification and preliminary sensitivities after 24 hours and final antibiotic sensitivities a further 24 hours later. Empirical antibiotics can be advised following the Gram stain result, with a more informed antibiotic choice the following day using the preliminary sensitivity profile. This may then be changed again to a more appropriate option a further 24 hours later when the final result is known, meaning the patient may have not been on the most appropriate antibiotics for their infection. The aim of the project is to introduce a novel laser scattering technology named Scattered Light Integrating Collector (SLIC) which is able to produce antibiotic sensitivity results within two hours of processing, reducing the time from 48 hours. The results produced by the new instrument will be compared to the existing method and along side this clinical information will be collected and analysed. This will be used to determine if theoretically, antibiotic management for the patient could have been changed to an appropriate narrow spectrum agent sooner and thus reducing inappropriate use of potentially toxic antibiotics, reducing use of broad spectrum antibiotics that promote resistance and/or side effects or potentially using a more broad spectrum antibiotic in the case of resistance being identified.
Proposal accepted but practical work not started yet.