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Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center


Procalcitonin Testing - "Sepsis Awareness Month"

Wilkes-Barre VAMC Microbiologist and Supervisory Lab Technologist

Photo - From left to right: Marissa Cragle, Microbiologist and Sharon Ford, Supervisory Lab Technologist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September has been declared “Sepsis Awareness Month” by the Sepsis Alliance.  Sepsis is a critical illness that results from severe infection.  It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States overall, with an estimated 750,000 cases per year.  Forty percent of patients diagnosed with severe sepsis do not survive.  There is evidence that the incidence of sepsis is increasing by about 8% year.  Early recognition and aggressive treatment of sepsis can be lifesaving.  However, recognition in the early stages can be difficult.  A new blood test that measures a substance called “Procalcitonin” helps reliably diagnose sepsis due to bacterial infection. 

As part of its commitment to provide excellent medical care to Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Laboratory at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is proud to announce that it began Procalcitonin Testing on September 24, 2012.  It is the first hospital in the area to perform this testing.

The test will be offered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Results will be available within an hour.  The test will provide doctors with one more tool to aid in the early diagnosis of sepsis and save more lives.



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