The Accident and Emergency department of St Bernard’s hospital has been equipped with a blood gas machine able to provide rapid analysis of a patient’s blood to medical staff.
The new kit means blood tests are now available round-the-clock to doctors who are able to use those results to speed up critical decisions in a patient’s care.
The Minister for Health, Neil Costa, stated he was pleased to introduce “this sophisticated piece of equipment” and pledged that the Gibraltar Government would continue to improve medical services at the GHA for the benefit of patients.
The blood gas analyser measures the levels of certain gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide in a patient’s blood stream and provides “valuable, instant test results to the doctors and nurses.”
Within minutes, the machine can test blood that has been taken directly from the artery and provide instant results. Previously all blood had to be rushed upstairs for laboratory testing but this was not available 24 hours a day.
“We make good use of the blood gas machine on a daily basis. Literally, within hours of commissioning, the analyser was used to guide treatment of a patient in cardiac arrest, who was stabilised and transferred to ITU,” said the GHA’s Associate Specialist for Accident and Emergency, Dr Albrecht Kussner.
“Undoubtedly, near-patient testing of the range of critical parameters this machine provides expedites decision making and spells an invaluable asset to our Emergency Department,” he added.
Sister, Elaine Ferro stated that the analyser has hugely facilitated the work of the medical staff within the unit.
“The rapidity with which we are able to access results proves invaluable to the critically ill, as we are able to titrate their treatment as required in a timely manner,” she said.
“The close proximity of this resource to the bedside, allows us to focus our efforts on providing essential nursing care, ensuring our patient’s experience with us is as comfortable as it can be,” she added.
All staff have received the necessary training on the analyser.