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News - New technology piloted to speed up infection diagnosis

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New technology piloted to speed up infection diagnosis


Our patients are set to benefit from the piloting of a new diagnostic machine that will halve the time it takes to identify infections.


New technology for infection diagnosis


The RD&E is the first hospital in the South West to trial the new microbiology machine called MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization).


There are just nine of the MALDI-TOF machines in the UK which can analyse and identify up to 200 infections every two hours using laser technology to map key pathogens found in samples. The RD&E will be piloting the technology for the next year.


RD&E laboratory manager Julie King said: “Typically samples arrive in our microbiology labs where bacterial cultures are developed on agar plates. This process can take up to 48 hours to complete. The new facility allows us to make a diagnosis in a fraction of the time thus enabling clinicians to provide far more targeted antibiotic treatments which in turn helps patients to make a quicker recovery and return home.”


Critical Care Consultant nurse Carole Boulanger said: “Speed of diagnosis is crucial when we get very poorly patients on our intensive care ward. We often have to prescribe a broad range of antibiotics first in order to tackle unidentified infections. This new equipment will enable us to know what infection our patients have and start their treatment sooner.”


Microbiolgy team members


Pictured: Biomedical Scientists Matthew Allen and Michelle Hincke have received specialist training from Biomerieux to run this pilot project.


The microbiology team manages more than 200,000 samples a year for the RD&E hospitals, GPs and community hospital services.






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