Take good care of our babies
BIDMC's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was recently presented with a Passion and Results Award from Instrumentation Laboratory. The award recognizes customers who have shown exceptional passion within their field to enhance the quality of patient care.
Susan Young, RN, said the award recognized the unit's efforts to expand point of care testing to include blood gas measurements. This initiative, started last September, has greatly enhanced the process of blood gas interpretation for NICU patients.
Blood is obtained from indwelling catheters such as umbilical or arterial lines, venipunctures or arterial punctures, and heel punctures. Prior to September, blood gases were sent to the Chemistry Lab via the pneumatic tube system. Once the specimen arrived, it would be run on a blood gas analyzer. Many times the specimens could not be run because there were clots in the blood or the specimen was compromised.
That meant the process of drawing the specimen had to be repeated. In turn that meant infants being subjected to another stressful, and sometimes painful, procedure. The process also led to increased staff time that might otherwise be spent on direct care.
With a new system in place for three-and-a-half months, the NICU has processed more than 1,200 blood gas specimens. There have been no reported clotted specimens on blood gases run on the NICU's analyzer. Turn around time from the point of obtaining the specimen to the point of obtaining a result for interpretation is less than five minutes.
In the end, clinicians are happy the analyzer has been such a success. The Chemistry Lab is not dealing with clotted machines, or having to call to say the specimen cannot be run. And best of all, the babies are disturbed less often.