New machine will ID bacterial infections faster

Maldi-Tof microbiology lab

Dr. Christopher Doern and Janet Schuller load samples into MALDI-TOF.

Ok, so it’s nothing special to look at. While what this new machine does is something out of a science fiction movie, it certainly doesn’t look that exciting. In fact, it just looks like a tall, metal box.

But the addition of the new piece of technology that just went on line this week in the Microbiology Lab at Children’s Medical Center, called MALDI-TOF, means patients and their families will experience less suffering, shorter hospital stays, lower hospital bills and more precise medical care.

MALDI-TOF will identify bacterial infections like E. Coli, staph infections, salmonella and causes of bacterial pneumonia in about a day. In addition, it can positively identify and pinpoint the causes of sepsis in just 30 minutes, significantly cutting the two- to three-day wait previously required for such diagnoses.

The new tool could cut bacterial testing costs by 90 to 95 percent.

Children’s is only the third pediatric hospital in the country and the first in the Southwest to acquire MALDI-TOF .

Check out the story WFAA Channel 8 did last week on MALDI-TOF. Then let us know what you think of our new technology.

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