Minimizing the Time to Effective Antibiotic
Administration is Critical
Antibiotics are critical tools for fighting life-threatening bacterial infections, but the speed with which the patient is provided the appropriate antibiotic can be the difference between life and death. For example, the risk of death from septic shock increases by almost 8% for each hour an infection goes without appropriate treatment.9
Risk of Mortality, Septic Shock
Hours to Treatment
When a patient shows up at a hospital today with signs of an infection, samples are collected and sent to the lab, where they are cultured on various media to see if they grow. It is only after the bacteria are allowed to grow for 1-2 days that they can be identified and tested for drug resistance. This antiquated process takes a total of 2-5 days and fails in 40% of severe infections. In the meantime, every hour that a patient remains inadequately treated increases their risk of complications or death.10
With little information to go on, physicians are forced to treat with empiric therapy: powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics that are expensive, can have significant toxicity, and are increasingly less effective due to the spread of multidrug resistant pathogens. This practice also leads to higher rates of organ injury, increased risk of Clostridium difficile infection, and contributes to the growth of antibiotic resistance.11-13
Without innovative diagnostic approaches that bypass the need for time-consuming cultures, the world’s ability to prevent deaths from bacterial infections and address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance will be severely limited.