HealthWatch (WFRV)-- Infection Detection: Saving Babies from Sepsis.
One in four babies will develop it and it can kill them. By the time doctors spot sepsis in newborns it can already be too late. Here are details on an infection detection device that's saving new lives.
For new parents Michael and Shelly, little Kynleigh came as a surprise. "We weren't trying or anything," Shelly said Acocaello said.
Another surprise, Kynleigh was born four months early weighing just one pound, five ounces.
"It was all new, I didn't know what to expect," Michael Acocaello said.
Kynleigh was at high risk for sepsis, a severe blood infection that can spread throughout the body.
"If we detect it late it can be very, very damaging and even fatal," Karen Fairchild, M.D., a Neonatologist at the University of Virginia Health System, explained. "Once the baby shows signs of sepsis, they may already be very, very sick."
Doctors at the University of Virginia developed the HeRO monitor to help pick up on the subtle signs early.
"I really think this is revolutionary," Dr. Fairchild said.
Every hour it identifies changes in babies' heart rate patterns that happen early in sepsis, and then creates a score from zero to seven.
"If your HeRO score is one you have exactly the average rate of illness. If your HeRO score is two you have twice the risk, " Randall Moorman, M.D., a cardiologists at the University of Virginia Health System, explains.
Kynleigh's score was as high as five. She was given antibiotics and now all this new mom and dad have to worry about is parenthood.
Researchers at UVA have been working on the HeRO monitor for more than ten years and it's now being used in a handful of neonatal intensive care units around the country.