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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 216-222

Point of care blood gases with electrolytes and lactates in adult emergencies

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dheeraj Kapoor
1207, Sector 32 B, Chandigarh - 160 030
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.141411

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Point-of-care testing (POCT) is one of the formidable concept introduce in the field of critical care settings to deliver decentralized, patient-centric health care to the patients. Rapid provision of blood measurements, particularly blood gases and electrolytes, may translate into improved clinical outcomes. Studies shows that POCT carries advantages of providing reduced therapeutic turnaround time (TTAT), shorter door-to-clinical-decision time, rapid data availability, reduced preanalytic and postanalytic testing errors, self-contained user-friendly instruments, small sample volume requirements, and frequent serial whole-blood testing. However, still there is a noticeable debate that exists among the laboratorians, clinicians, and administrators over concerns regarding analyzer inaccuracy, imprecision and performance (interfering substances), poorly trained non-laboratorians, high cost of tests, operator-dependent quality of testing, and difficulty in integrating test results with hospital information system (HIS). On search of literature using Medline/Pubmed and Embase using the key phrases "ppoint-of-care test," "central laboratory testing," "electrolytes," "blood gas analysis," "lactate," "emergency department," "intensive care unit," we found that POCT of blood gases and selected electrolytes may not entirely replace centralized laboratory testing but may transfigure the clinical practice paradigm of emergency and critical care physicians. We infer that further comprehensive, meaningful and rigorous evaluations are required to determine outcomes which are more quantifiable, closely related to testing events and are associated with effective cost benefits.

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