Sepsis is an illness in which the body has a severe response to bacteria or other germs. The symptoms of sepsis are not caused by the germs themselves. Instead, chemicals the body releases cause the response.

Programs + Services

Surgical Critical Care

The Division of Surgical Critical Care at Tufts MC in Boston provides post-surgical care for patients in our Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU).
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Doctors + Care Team

Horacio M. Hojman, MD

Horacio M. Hojman, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery; Surgical Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit; Associate Director, Trauma Surgery; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4488
Fax #: 617-636-8172

Trauma, surgical critical care, acute care surgery

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Research + Clinical Trials

Salivary Profiling in Infants Treated for Suspected Sepsis: The SPITSS Study

The goal of this study is to develop a faster, safer, and more accurate method for determining if a newborn has an infection. This study involves analyzing saliva for markers of infection and inflammation known as cytokines. We will analyze infant’s saliva repeatedly for inflammatory biomarkers within the first 36 hours of their standard of care treatment. We hypothesize that levels of these cytokines will more quickly predict which babies are truly infected and which babies are not compared to the blood test currently being used.

The aims of the study are:

  • Aim 1: Develop a predictive model of neonatal infection based pon the expression profile of six salivary inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein/CRP, procalcitonin/PCT, tumor necrosis factor-alpha/TNF-α, interleukin (IL) 1-beta/IL1β, IL6, and IL8, within the first 36 hours of treatment.
  • Aim 2: Validate the predictive model of neonatal infection developed in Aim 1 on an external cohort of newborns.
  • Aim 3: Establish normative salivary reference ranges of the inflammatory biomarkers across varying gestational ages and weights and assess the potential of these biomarkers to predict other neonatal morbidities.

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