Tameside Hospital installs one of the fastest sample testing machines in the world
31 May 2012

The giant testing machine – known as the AU5800 series clinical chemistry analyser – has been installed inTamesideHospital’s biochemistry laboratory and makesTamesideHospitalone of the first in theUKto have the machine, normally only used in super labs.

There are currently only two machines of its type installed in theUK. And as the flagship machine forUScompany Beckman Coulter, it is currently hailed as one of the fastest machine of its kind in the world.

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Deputy Diagnostics Manager Geoff Lavelle said: “It’s a beast of a machine that can carry out around 2,000 tests an hour on around 350 patient samples – that’s 6 tests every 10 seconds.

“It’s one of the fastest clinical chemistry analyser you can buy in the world and we’re really pleased to be using it here atTamesideHospital.”

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Medical Director Tariq Mahmood said: “Having this state-of-the-art technology at our finger tips here atTamesideHospitalshows we are leading the way in high quality patient services. We pride ourselves in having the latest technology so that we can deliver the best and most effective service to our patients.”

Scientists working in theTamesideHospitallaboratory test around 2,000 samples a day from local GP practices, hospital outpatient and A&E departments and wards. The machine does a variety of specified biochemistry tests on the samples such as cholesterol, glucose, tests for liver and kidney function.

“The mechanics of the system are simple – it takes the patients blood and mixes with specific chemicals and mixes them together and then looks for any changes in colour, the more colour produced, the more glucose or the more cholesterol there is in the patients blood. The central part of the machine then washes the cuvettes– it just flies through the work,” said Geoff.

In addition, the machine uses 60 litres of pure water an hour, produced by a separate machine to ensure that everything within it is spotlessly clean.

Built inJapan, the AU5800 series has been supplied toTamesideHospitalby Beckman Coulter, aUScompany, which has leased it to the hospital for a year.

Geoff explained: “Previously we used three separate machines to do this work and as they become out of date, we have been able to replace these with one machine. We’ve speeded up our work considerably and, more importantly, are able to fast track the more urgent samples in a more effective way.”

The analyser has also attracted other scientists from far and wide and Tameside has already had a visit from Pathologists from Linköping inSwedento view the new instrument