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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Jul;32(5):458-60. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2012.673034.

Feasibility of using microbiology diagnostic tests of moderate or high complexity at the point - of - care in a delivery suite.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TG, UK. jim.gray@bch.nhs.uk

Abstract

Point-of-care testing (POCT) is one of the fastest growing sectors of laboratory diagnostics. Most tests in routine use are haematology or biochemistry tests that are of low complexity. Microbiology POCT has been constrained by a lack of tests that are both accurate and of low complexity. We describe our experience of the practical issues around using more complex POCT for detection of Group B streptococci (GBS) in swabs from labouring women. We evaluated two tests for their feasibility in POCT: an optical immune assay (Biostar OIA Strep B, Inverness Medical, Princetown, NJ) and a PCR (IDI-Strep B, Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA), which have been categorised as being of moderate and high complexity, respectively. A total of 12 unqualified midwifery assistants (MA) were trained to undertake testing on the delivery suite. A systematic approach to the introduction and management of POC testing was used. Modelling showed that the probability of test results being available within a clinically useful timescale was high. However, in the clinical setting, we found it impossible to maintain reliable availability of trained testers. Implementation of more complex POC testing is technically feasible, but it is expensive, and may be difficult to achieve in a busy delivery suite.

PMID:
22663318
DOI:
10.3109/01443615.2012.673034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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