Galway Bay fm newsroom – University Hospital Galway is the first hospital in the country to receive new equipment which offers drastically improved testing times for Covid-19.
The lab at the hospital is now testing using a new high-throughput molecular PCR machine.
Five of the new machine are to be installed at hospitals nationwide – University Hospital Galway says it’s fortunate to have received the first.
The state-of-the-art equipment enables the processing of up to 500 swabs from patients per day, with a turnaround time of around 3 hours per batch.
This compares very favorably to the previous capacity of 300 tests per day with a turnaround of up to 10 hours.
Previously, staff also had to test in batches of 100 – but the new machine will allow for the testing of as few as a dozen samples, as well as the prioritization of urgent cases.
UHG says the additional capacity to meet increased demand is absolutely vital at this time and will support the efficient streaming of patients to their appropriate pathways.
It adds once the need to test for Covid-19 diminishes, the new machine will allow UHG to carry out tests to diagnose a range of other diseases, including a number which currently have to be sent elsewhere for analysis.