Taking the uncertainty out of treating infants.
A newborn may have Mom’s nose or Dad’s eyes, but her physiology is different from her parent’s. She has different testing biomarkers because she is so much smaller. And just days out of the womb, she also has an immature immune system.
Accurate diagnosis and access to therapy is a matter of life or death for infants.
Diagnosing potentially life threatening issues in the smallest patients can pose an enormous challenge for healthcare providers. Due to their size, smaller test sample sizes are required and there are more limitations in accessing sample sites.
Meanwhile, timing is critical and it’s essential the infants are closely monitored. Special challenges like these require special testing equipment.
The moment she is born, a new phase in the newborn’s development starts. She now has to adjust to a completely new environment and some things, like breathing, she can do instantaneously without any help. When the newborn has difficulty taking that first breath of oxygen though, additional testing and assistance is needed. Blood gas tests are standard ways to measure critical parameters such as fluid loss, ventilation, metabolism, and effects from anticoagulant usage — and help care givers diagnose and treat any issues.
In Africa, 260,000 newborns are infected with HIV every year through the simple acts of pregnancy, labor, delivery and breastfeeding. Early diagnosis and treatment are particularly important in infants because the disease progresses quickly. We need to provide the next generation with better access to testing and treatment.
The introduction of POC blood gas analyzers to NICU units significantly reduced the need of red-cell transfusion in neonatals by 46%.1
Only an estimated of 15% of HIV-exposed infants needing testing are tested in the first two months of life.2
Learn how rapid diagnostics tests are essential to improve the life of newborn babies all over the world.
Gracie’s Story: In the first minutes of life, every second counts
Not liking the blue tint of her lips and the cool feel of her hands and feet, the doctor presented the baby to his team of nurses instead of to the new father.
She wasn’t due until July 12, but one warm evening in early June, baby Gracie surprised everyone. Her delivery was relatively easy and all seemed to be going well until the moment Dad was supposed to cut the umbilical cord.
Gracie was having trouble breathing. The newborn’s tiny face was promptly covered with a large oxygen mask as the anxious parents looked on, exhausted and alarmed.
The father trailed behind as the nurses whisked Gracie off towards the NICU. Her breathing was becoming more and more rapid despite the flow of oxygen. Once Gracie arrived at the NICU, a series of tests were performed, including a blood gas test on a wireless, handheld device. Gracie’s glucose levels, oxygen levels, and electrolytes were tested immediately with the epoc® Blood Analysis System.
Within minutes, the test results were with the doctor down the hall. After reviewing all test results, the diagnosis came back from the doctor instantly: Gracie had Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension.
Diagnosed quickly, Gracie received the treatment she needed and would soon join her parents. Her parents would never forget that night as long as they lived.
The right result. At the right time.
The epoc® Blood Analysis System is healthcare’s first POC testing solution to leverage Smartcard Technology and wireless communication.
Gracie’s doctors used epoc® System to aid in the diagnosis of her symptoms. The epoc® Reader is able to test blood gas, electrolyte, and metabolite levels in about 30 seconds.
All the nurse had to do was insert the Test Card into the epoc® Reader and obtain a small blood sample (92 μL , about a 1/10th of a CC) from Gracie. Once fresh blood passes across the biosensors on the epoc® Test Card, results are sent wirelessly to the epoc® Host2 Mobile Computer in about 30 seconds.
The almost instantaneous delivery of BGEM test results from the NICU to the doctor can reduce the number of blood draws and blood transfusions, and enable the team to get Gracie the therapy she needed, fast.
R’phael’s Story: Bringing cutting edge technology to the highlands of Africa
Living with HIV
35 million people living with HIV.
240,000 new HIV infections in children in 2013
76% of children living with HIV are not receiving treatment3
R’phael was born at home with the help of a midwife. Way out in the highlands of Kenya, that wasn’t unusual. After all, the nearest hospital was a half-day’s bus ride away. Nor was it unusual that both of R’phael’s parents were HIV positive; nearly half the adults in the village shared the same diagnosis.
R’phael’s mother, Saada, managed her HIV by carefully following the regimen of antiretroviral medication prescribed to her and by testing her CD4 viral count at the mobile clinic whenever it came by. When the mobile clinic caregiver saw that Saada was pregnant with R’phael, he was concerned the disease could be passed on to R’phael through childbirth and breastfeeding.
So he asked Saada to return with her baby once he was born.
When the new mother had recovered enough to make the trip, she carried R’phael to the clinic for a regular check-up and to have him screened for HIV. Because the mobile clinic used Alere™ q to detect the HIV virus, the test could be performed on the spot — in under an hour.
In Africa, that’s a lifesaving detail. Because infants can only be tested using virological testing of HIV nucleic acids, R’phael’s results could only be analyzed in a centralized laboratory.
Which means R’pheal’s sample would have to travel hundreds of miles and endure a long lead time for analysis. And the test results, if they ever found their way back to the mobile clinic at all, might be weeks too late to help R’pheal.
To be truly effective, infants need to start retroviral therapy within just 12 weeks of birth. Without it, 20% of perinatally infected infants die by three months of age — and half will not survive beyond their second birthday.4
R’phael was infected, just as the clinic caregiver suspected. The good news was the newborn could begin therapy that very day. And as a result, R’phael would not only live to see his 2nd birthday — he’d see many decades more.
Alere™ q: Molecular. Anytime, anywhere.
The Alere™ q is a fully automated nucleic acid testing platform. It brings the power of molecular testing to bench tops in any healthcare setting so caregivers get the convenience of point of care testing with lab quality results.
The mobile clinic that visited R’phael’s village used Alere™ q HIV-1/2 Detect. This next generation technology gives brings a suite of molecular assays to remote locations where they are needed most.
Robust and smart, Alere™ q and the sophisticated assay, Alere™ q HIV-1/2 Detect test, can be automatically performed at the point of care, without requiring specialist skills. And because this allows healthcare professionals to bypass issues with centralized testing, R’phael could begin treatment sooner.
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