doctor examining a baby in a hospital

The tiny machine saving midwives’ time in an emergency.

A small machine is saving midwives at Katherine Hospital time in an emergency and putting new parents at ease when their baby becomes unwell.

The EPOC Blood Analysis System is an instant blood test, when time is critical, which helps nurses and doctors provide critical care to babies if they become ill. Clinical midwife manager at Katherine Hospital Sara Potter says it is a game changer in terms of accuracy.

It is also taking the pressure off the on-call pathology team.

The EPOC Blood Analysis System was donated by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

 The EPOC Blood Analysis System was donated by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

“Instead of us holding off on management when a baby is unwell we can action a plan to get the baby on track straight away,” Mrs Potter said.

Out of hours at Katherine Hospital, nurses and doctors would usually rely on the on-call pathology team.

But waiting for a blood test and results could take up to half an hour.

“If a baby is unwell, that half hour is critical,” Mrs Potter said.

“It meant our management was not as accurate as it could be and we would often over-manage to make sure nothing went wrong.”

The new system, donated to the hospital by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, is used for testing blood sugar in four cases: when a baby is too small, too big, the mother has diabetes or if the baby is generally unwell.

The accurate and fast retrieval of vital information also means the new parents can be put at ease much faster.

“It uses less blood, so it is much better for the baby, and less traumatic for the parents.

“We are now able to tell parents straight away what is going on and that is a huge relief of stress,” Mrs Potter said.

Children’s charity, the Humpty Dumpty Foundation has been purchasing life-saving medical equipment for sick and injured children for more than 25 years.

This article was originally published on The Katherine Times on 21/10/19 by Roxanne Fitzgerald.