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Scientists say a new test for sepsis could cut diagnosis times from days to minutes.
Detecting the deadly illness is difficult because the symptoms are nondescript.
Current tests can take as long as 48 hours – problematic with an illness where every second counts.
Peter Ghazal, from Cardiff University’s Project Sepsis, said early detection “dramatically improves” chances of survival.
“We’re very excited. We think we can actually move this at least within five years, but hopefully before then, to actually being used in a clinical setting,” he said.
It is estimated five million people die every year from the illness worldwide, which occurs when the body responds to an infection by injuring its own tissues and organs.
In Wales there are about