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Rapid sepsis testing at Croydon Hospital

National sepsis guidelines state that if a patient in hospital, including ED, displays any symptoms associated with sepsis, such as high temperature, they will have a blood culture done to test for sepsis. The guidelines state that this test should be carried out within four hours.

South West London Pathology (SWLP) has been working with bioMerieux to set up and interface Virtuo incubators at Croydon University Hospital (CUH) so that blood culture samples for sepsis can be incubated on site within the target time of four hours.

The target time of four hours between sample being taken and being loaded onto the incubator was not previously possible, as samples had to be transferred to St George’s Hospital for testing.

The reduced time to loading onto the incubator will mean that interim negative reports will be issued sooner after collection time (36 hours for paediatric samples and 48 hours for adult samples). On flagging positive, the blood culture bottles will be transferred to St George’s Hospital for further processing.

The bioMerieux Virtuos will also be introduced at Kingston Hospital over the coming weeks.

SWLP Director of Operations Jamie Laughlin says, “The introduction of the bioMerieux Virtuos at Croydon is an example of how we can develop the services we offer to keep up with ever-changing demands.

“This change will have a significant benefit for patients and the hospital, delivering faster positive and negative sepsis results.”

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