The Advantages Of Automated Blood Cultures

757 Words 4 Pages
Blood cultures have always been a critical tool in the management of life-threatening conditions like septicemia, enteric fever, infective endocarditis, brucellosis etc. Manual or conventional blood cultures were performed by inoculating large volumes of blood into nutrient broth or biphasic media and repeated subcultures were performed to detect growth. Automated blood culture systems were introduced in early 1970’s. Today there are wide variety of systems available in the market. These have become the boon of the century in patient care.

The automated blood collection systems allow: The detection of carbon dioxide produced during bacterial growth in the blood culture bottles by the use of fluorescent sensor technology. The same is done using
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One of the major advantages of the automated systems is that the inbuilt monitoring technique provides an alarm when a positive bottle is detected. This eliminates the necessity for repeated subcultures and reduces analytical errors.
2.Continuous monitoring reduces TAT: In the era of competitive business, labs providing automated blood cultures have an edge over those who don’t in terms of reduced turnaround time for positive cultures. Many studies have also suggested that most organisms can be recovered optimally within 3 days of incubation.
3.Recovery of slow growing or fastidious organisms: Many studies have compared the recovery of the organisms which are difficult to grow like Brucella spp. Neisseriae, Nutritionally variant Streptococci, Kingella kingie and anaerobes from renowned systems to conventional blood culture
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In our country an automated blood culture costs between Rs 600 to Rs 2000 depending on the number of bottles cultured.
2.Hidden cost: The complete advantage of having an automated blood culture system cannot be reaped without the availability of advanced identification and sensitivity processing. The gamut of rare and fastidious pathogens recovered by automated processing cannot be identified in the absence automated systems like Vitek or molecular methods.
3.Maintenance and quality control: Like any machine, regular maintenance and proper handling is required for these systems. Some of them have inbuilt quality control systems, whereas others may require the purchase of other calibrators and quality controls.
4.Extras: Other requirements include space, manpower and expertise in handling.
5.Pre-analytical variables: Automation does not eliminate the necessities of appropriate sample collection techniques so as to avoid contamination of the primary sample and ensure maximum recovery of the pathogen.

Maximum benefit from these systems can be derived by keeping in mind few

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