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May 15, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Hospital speeds up tests

A LOCAL hospital has cut the time taken for diagnostic testing at its intensive care unit from two hours to 30 minutes, quickening doctors' decision making and streamlining medical treatment.

Hospital officials said it was the first time a special laboratory had been set up near an ICU on China's mainland.

Such testing near the ICU can improve survival rates for critically ill patients by 30 to 50 percent, doctors at Shanghai Xinhua Hospital said yesterday.

The technology, or point-of-care testing, is diagnostic testing at or near the site of patient care without requiring a permanent, dedicated space.

POCT is conducted through the use of portable, handheld instruments. The lab has been set up jointly by the hospital and a French company under a Sino-French medical exchange program.

"The laboratory can do 10 tests, which target fatal diseases like heart attacks and strokes," said Dr Pan Shuming.

"Such patients account for 15 percent of total patients in our emergency room, but take up 85 percent of our attention and medical resources. Previously the testing procedure took two hours," Pan said.


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