Thousands of lives will be saved by a revolutionary digital system which alerts doctors to cases of sepsis, a study suggests.
Three leading NHS hospitals have pioneered technology which monitors patients' vital signs and automatically triggers an alert to doctors if sepsis is suspected.
Experts analysed data of more than 27,000 patients who triggered the sepsis alert system after arriving at A&E or being admitted to a ward.
They compared the outcome of these patients with those who arrived at hospital with similar symptoms but received standard care and did not benefit from the new technology.
Three leading NHS hospitals have pioneered technology which monitors patients' vital signs and automatically triggers an alert to doctors if sepsis is suspected
The study by Imperial College London found the technology reduced the risk of death by 24 per cent, and increased the chance of patients receiving antibiotics quickly by 35 per cent.
The trial, conducted between 2016 and 2018, is the first to evaluate the benefits of the alert system in NHS hospitals. Other trusts are being encouraged to adopt similar tools.
Dr Anne Kinderlerer, co-author of the study, said: 'The alert has made a significant impact on identifying more cases of sepsis and reducing the number of patients who die in hospital as a result.
Experts analysed data of more than 27,000 patients who triggered the sepsis alert system after arriving at A&E or being admitted to a ward
'More patients are surviving sepsis at our hospitals. Our plan is now to roll this alert system out across the Trust in different health specialities so that we can further reduce the toll and impact that sepsis has on our patients.'
There are 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK each year and it claims 44,000 lives, meaning one in six patients will die.
The Mail has been campaigning to improve the care of patients with sepsis since 2016.
The deadly blood poisoning occurs when the body over-reacts to an everyday infection or virus. It is commonly triggered by a skin infection, chest infection, pneumonia or the flu.
The illness is notoriously difficult to diagnose and patients' risk of death significantly increases for every hour they are not given antibiotics.
The only way for doctors to diagnose sepsis is to closely monitor patients' breathing, temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen and alertness.
But many patients are seen by different doctors and nurses, meaning no one health professional is looking at all the measurements together and sepsis cases can go undetected until it is too late.