Secondary Care

Tech launched across Norfolk to speed-up sepsis diagnosis

New ‘onsite blood culture machines’ have been introduced to help speed-up sepsis diagnosis across three acute hospitals in Norfolk.

Previously, blood culture samples of patients with suspected sepsis used to be sent to the microbiology lab at Norwich Research Park for testing. However, by introducing the new machines in the laboratories at the James Paget University Hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, onsite processing can now take place, reducing the time to see the results.

The new machines, the BioMerieux BACT/ Alert Virtuo, will now support testing of hundreds of blood samples each week, removing any delays and supporting patient safety.

Dr Reham Soliman, EPA Consultant Microbiologist and Service Director, said: “This improvement supports the government’s Sepsis 6 initiative which aims to improve diagnosis and survival from sepsis. I am delighted that Eastern Pathology Alliance Microbiology department is able to implement this quality improvement project for better outcome for our patients. I would like to thank everyone who has worked really hard to make it possible.”

Stephanie Walker, Bacteriology Chief BMS, added: “This technology is a great addition to our lab and I am grateful to colleagues at Blood science labs at NNUH, QEH and JPUH who have worked collaboratively with us in Microbiology to implement this change.”

Dr Priyadarshan Ambadkar, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatal Lead at the James Paget University Hospital, said: “This is really good news for everyone. It should take away many of the delays in the system for processing samples and will mean we will be able to treat patients more accurately. It will change how we manage neonates and provide 24-hour support to our clinicians. It’s a huge improvement for patient safety and means doctors should be able to prescribe the right medication much earlier.”

HTN last reported on news from Norfolk and Norwich earlier in the year, when the trust launched a study into wearable devices, for patients who are due to have hip or knee replacements to measure how they walk after surgery to address muscle weaknesses and provide bespoke strengthening exercises.