Point-of-care blood gas analysers deployed at Kingston Hospital


End-to-end solution provides rapid and reliable results for blood gases and other critical care parameters

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust is improving point-of-care testing with the introduction of a fully-connected blood gas solution.

Roche’s cobas b 221 blood gas analysers and point-of-care IT connectivity are ensuring rapid and reliable results for blood gases and other critical care parameters.

Easy to use and requiring minimal maintenance, the systems are suitable for use by non-laboratory staff at the point of care and have the added advantage that they can be monitored remotely.

“Having the analysers at the point of care saves valuable time,“ said point-of-care testing manager, Christine Astbury. “Blood gas samples deteriorate rapidly and need to be analysed as quickly as possible. The cobas b 221 analysers allow us to do this reliably and with ease, providing a good quality result where and when it is needed.“

The hospital has a total of seven analysers located in the intensive therapy unit, accident and emergency, acute assessment unit, neonatal unit, maternity department, a medical respiratory ward and in the laboratory. Connectivity with cobas IT 1000, together with cobas bge Link and cobas academy e-learning, provides a complete solution allowing all the analysers and operators to be managed efficiently from a single point of control.

“The analysers are very easy to maintain,“ Astbury said. “The only day-to-day maintenance required is to check reagent and paper levels. Reagent levels can be monitored from the laboratory and trained users can load new reagent cartridges and paper easily. Additional scheduled maintenance is minimal, very easy to perform and is carried out by one part-time laboratory assistant. This was an important factor in our procurement process, since staff resources for point-of-care testing are very limited.“

She added: “cobas® bge Link can be used to check that all quality control tests have been performed satisfactorily, from a single screen in the laboratory. Previously, we would have had to visit each system individually, so this is a lot easier and saves time. It is also possible to troubleshoot remotely, using the screen sharing mode in cobas bge Link, as well as request calibrations, run quality control samples, prime the system with reagents, and perform other functions. This is particularly helpful outof hours, when it is not possible for staff to visit an analyser on the ward.“

To enhance patient safety, cobas IT 1000 enables access to the analysers to be controlled, so that only trained and authorised operators can perform a test.

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“The password protection capabilities of cobas IT 1000 are really important,” Astbury said. “This allows me to see any abnormal patterns of use and enables me to block access, if required, to ensure safe and appropriate use of the equipment.“