Severe infection (sepsis) takes the lives of over 2000 Queenslanders every year. Despite this toll and intense global research, few advances and innovations have improved sepsis management for decades. The TEAM SEPSIS project comprises three studies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sepsis in the Emergency Department (ED).
ICARUS-MD is a randomised controlled trial assigning patients to receive or not receive albumin in addition to standard sepsis care. Albumin will be commenced in the early phase of emergency treatment and continued each day for ten days. Albumin has the potential to improve outcomes if started early in the ED - ICARUS-MD may provide much needed evidence.
ARTEMIS is an observational study in a subset of ICARUS-MD patients with blood samples taken across several time points to determine the effect of albumin on the function of the critical lining of small blood vessels – the endothelial glycocalyx.
BETTER aims to improve the investigation of septic patients in ED by validating a novel test for bacteraemia in patients at highest risk for this condition. The study will use patients from the ICARUS-MD cohort as well as other emergency patients with low white cell count and suspected infection. Earlier diagnosis of bacteraemia enables directed therapy, improves patient outcomes, and conserves our most powerful antibiotics for patients who need them.
This programme of collaborative research involving ED and infectious diseases clinicians promises to advance knowledge of the best approach to diagnosis and treatment for emergency patients at highest risk from sepsis.