Faster detection key to improving flu response in North Brisbane

New technology that diagnoses influenza more quickly will be introduced at four hospitals on Brisbane’s northside, making future flu seasons easier to manage.

Minister for Health Cameron Dick announced $600,000 would be invested in rolling out rapid point-of-care testing in 15 of the state’s largest public hospitals in 2018.

Mr Dick said Royal Brisbane and Women’s, The Prince Charles, Redcliffe and Caboolture hospitals would be among the facilities to benefit from the technology.

“Point-of-care tests screen for influenza A and B strains and can provide results within 30 minutes,” Mr Dick said.

“This testing is very efficient and would greatly assist northside hospitals in the early diagnosis and management of people with flu.

“It will also help the hospitals manage admission and care for those who need it most.”

Metro North Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Shaun Drummond said the new rapid testing technology would take pressure of busy Emergency Departments (ED) in the peak winter flu season.

“This year we experienced one of the worst flu seasons on record with 10 percent of presentations to EDs with flu like symptoms with some patients requiring admission,” Mr Drummond said.

“Being able to quickly diagnosis these patients with no delay means we’re able to fast track their treatment and free up staff to look after our most sickest patients.”

Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government would also invest $700,000 in automated blood culture machines to replace the current systems in 2018.

“These machines quickly detect infections that are spreading through the blood stream,” he said.

“This improved technology will lead to more efficient and timely diagnosis and management of bacterial infections secondary to influenza.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *