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Alverno Laboratories devised way to detect deadly sepsis 24 hours faster

Alverno Laboratories devised way to detect deadly sepsis 24 hours faster

Alverno Laboratories devised way to detect deadly Sepsis 24 hours faster

A lab tech at Alverno checks samples. Hammond-based Alverno Laboratories performs tests for local hospitals, including for Sepsis. 

Hammond-based Alverno Laboratories is rolling out technology to detect the life-threatening condition of sepsis as much as 24 hours faster than current methods.

The company, which handles lab tests for more than 36 hospitals around the Chicago metropolitan area, has made blood culture improvements at its central lab in Hammond to help doctors more quickly diagnose sepsis, a body's "extreme response" to an infection that results in 270,000 deaths in the United States a year, according to the Center for Disease Controls.

“We work to combat this deadly disease by quicker organism ID at the central lab and working with hospitals on Sepsis protocols,” Alverno CEO Sam Terese said. “We have a vision of our customer experience and keep our finger on the pulse of progress and technology and testing that elevates patient care.” 

Alverno's central lab gets blood culture bottles that incubate on an incubator, which alerts microbiologists if it detects bacteria growing in the bottle. Centrifuges can identify the type of bacteria based on the proteins, allowing Sepsis to be detected in as few as two hours.

The company, which employs more than 2,100 people, also rolled out rapid susceptibility testing that guides the physician on what antibiotic therapies will work and which will not. It tests the bacteria against antibiotics right in the positive blood culture bottle, without waiting for it to grow overnight.

“This takes away the guess work of what antibiotic to give,” Terese said.

Doctors ending up learning which antibiotics to use to combat a particular case of Sepsis 18 hours to 24 hours faster, which the company said results in improved patient care and could end up saving lives.

Nurses: The heart of health care


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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