LSU and Our Lady of the Lake Health Pioneer New Sepsis Test, Saving Lives, Cost

April 29, 2024

Setting a Gold Standard in Sepsis Care

In hospitals nationwide, more people die from sepsis than from anything else. It’s more deadly than opioid overdoses, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and is the leading cause of hospital admission and readmission. It’s also one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose. But since August, a new sepsis test based on LSU and Our Lady of the Lake Health research and advances in microfluidics is saving lives and cost at Louisiana’s largest hospital.
Sepsis is an extreme overreaction to infection that can cause severe organ damage, making early detection critical. Now, in 10 minutes or less, patients and providers can see if a person’s white blood cells are getting ready to attack. More than 3,000 patients have been tested for sepsis at Our Lady of the Lake Health since the test was implemented last August. 
“We used to do the best we could,” said Dr. Christopher Thomas, vice president and chief quality officer for Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. “Now, through translational research, we have a test that allows us to triage efficiently and effectively. We’re getting to where we’re pulling people out of the waiting room 60 minutes faster.”

“We’re also saving patients more than a full day in the hospital,” said LSU Associate Professor of Medicine Dr. Bud O’Neal, medical director of research at Our Lady of the Lake Health, who led the nationwide research to develop the test.

LSU Health New Orleans’ Dr. Christopher Thomas and Dr. Bud O’Neal

LSU Health New Orleans’ Dr. Christopher Thomas and Dr. Bud O’Neal save lives and cost for patients and Our Lady of the Lake Health with a newly developed rapid sepsis test.

– Elsa Hahne/LSU

“While we’ve had the privilege of interacting with a number of universities, what’s been really special about the work with Dr. O’Neal and LSU has been their continuous focus on making sure the collaborative research and development we did together was always focused on patient needs. They’ve been the best partner we could have asked for.”

Ajay Shah, CEO, Cytovale