Automated blood culture systems deployed to NATO field hospital in Afghanistan

29 February 2012

The UK Ministry of Defence has purchased three bioMérieux BacT/ALERT 3D 60 automated blood culture systems for the Camp Bastion Field Hospital in Afghanistan.

The field hospital, one of the busiest Role 3 NATO hospitals in Afghanistan, provides life saving treatment for wounded military personnel from the British, US and other International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Helmand Province, as well as to Afghan national security forces and civilians.

Early in 2011, an Urgent Operational Requirement was identified for automated blood culture analysis capabilities for the rapid diagnosis of bacteraemia and septicaemia in this challenging environment.

Dave Scorer, Urgent Operational Requirements Project Manager within the MOD Medical and General Supplies project team (M&GS), explained: “Most contemporary combat injuries in Afghanistan are sustained during dismounted patrols which, like any other field condition, pose a major risk of heavy contamination of wounds and an increased risk of septicaemia. By automating blood culture analysis, we aimed to release BMSs from time-consuming manual techniques, allowing them to give greater attention to trauma situations, for example, with blood transfusions, etc.”

The BacT/ALERT 3D 60 system

He added: “The BacT/ALERT 3D 60 from bioMérieux is particularly compact and robust — an especially important consideration in a hot and dusty environment — and is very intuitive and straightforward to use.

"Two systems are now operational in Camp Bastion, with the third remaining in the UK in the Pathology School in Keogh Barracks, Aldershot, for all operators to be trained before deployment. From start to finish, the lead time from contract award to delivery was three months, with delivery two months ahead of schedule. The feedback has already been excellent; it is making such a difference, saving about half a day of processing.”

Source: bioMérieux


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