A Victorian-first “sepsis calculator” is set to help doctors more rapidly detect newborns at risk of the dangerous bacterial infection.

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness that can develop in babies exposed to a naturally occurring bacteria carried by their mother.

“Sepsis can be very serious. Once it’s a bloodstream infection if can affect all the organs in the body of the baby. And unfortunately there is a high mortality rate,” Monash Health Obstetrician, Associate Professor Ryan Hodges, told 9News.

Given the risk associated with sepsis, doctors often err on the side of caution and send newborns suspected of being infected to a special care nursery for treatment including antibiotics.

Now Monash Medical Centre has a new tool – a “sepsis calculator” – to help identify babies at risk.


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Key medical data is entered into the computerised calculator which quickly determines if the baby low, medium or high risk of the bacterial infection.

The technology enhances diagnosis – meaning only those babies at high risk will be sent away from their mothers for treatment.

“It also means that babies undergo fewer painful procedures including blood tests,” Dr Alice Stewart from Monash Health said.

Share your comments below


  • New technology like this is just fantastic.

    Reply


  • As long as the doc listens to the parents before entering the data it will be great

    Reply


  • These sort of improvements can only help.

    Reply


  • This sounds like a really important development.

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  • Anything that helps keep our babies safer is good.

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  • Amazing what research can do and how much it can help.

    Reply


  • The scientists at Monash do a wonderful job.

    Reply


  • Sounds good, hope it’s accurate.

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  • This is great. Anything that can help to determine what’s wrong quickly save lives is a brilliant thing

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  • Always pleased with technology advances that helps save babies

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  • If the method saves babies’ lives I hope will save Mothers’ lives too It will be quicker than a blood test to determine if the Mother’s tests are positive too

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  • More wonderful advancements. Such good news.

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  • We should be very proud of our medical community.

    Reply


  • It looks amazing! Le’s hope it will be used widely around Australia.

    Reply


  • Wow what a great invention this sepsis calculator is it saves lives

    Reply

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