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Am J Clin Pathol. 2013 Jan;139(1):118-23. doi: 10.1309/AJCPH7X3NLYZPHBW.

Implementation of filmarray respiratory viral panel in a core laboratory improves testing turnaround time and patient care.

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Dept of Laboratories, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.


The FilmArray respiratory virus panel detects 15 viral agents in respiratory specimens using polymerase chain reaction. We performed FilmArray respiratory viral testing in a core laboratory at a regional children's hospital that provides service 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The average and median turnaround time were 1.6 and 1.4 hours, respectively, in contrast to 7 and 6.5 hours documented 1 year previously at an on-site reference laboratory using a direct fluorescence assay (DFA) that detected 8 viral agents. During the study period, rhinovirus was detected in 20% and coronavirus in 6% of samples using FilmArray; these viruses would not have been detected with DFA. We followed 97 patients with influenza A or influenza B who received care at the emergency department (ED). Overall, 79 patients (81%) were given oseltamivir in a timely manner defined as receiving the drug in the ED, a prescription in the ED, or a prescription within 3 hours of ED discharge. Our results demonstrate that molecular technology can be successfully deployed in a nonspecialty, high-volume, multidisciplinary core laboratory.

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