iSTAT machine – giving kids a break from needles

Every year, six to eight children are diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus.

They are either born with the condition or acquire it due to brain tumours or brain injury. This rare form of diabetes means that children can’t regulate how they handle fluids and experience extreme thirst and excessive urination. Diabetes Insipidus can interfere with appetite, weight gain and growth, and increase sodium levels to dangerous heights.

Thanks to PCH Foundation benefactors, parents can now use the innovative iSTAT machine to conduct important sodium testing. This portable blood analyser allows sodium levels to be measured via a finger prick blood sample instead of a conventional blood test taken from a vein, which can be very frightening for many children.

Traditionally, Hospital in the Home nurses take blood in the family home and courier the blood to a lab with results available several hours later.

The time between taking the blood and having a result can be critical if the sodium is found to be abnormal. This delay in treatment can cause great stress on the family.

With the iSTAT machine, results are available within minutes, which enable any treatment to be administered far quicker. Complications such as dehydration and seizures and hospital admissions are reduced and families are able to spend more time living their lives to the fullest.



From left: Bethan Cox (Haemodialysis Nurse), Paula Dempsey (Clinical Nurse Specialist) and Dr Frank Willis (Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist).

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