New equipment delivers quicker results and helps save lives

Pequeno Príncipe Complex has just acquired a new equipment that will bring huge benefits to the patients treated at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital. It will also enhance the research projects developed at Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute. The equipment is the MALDI-TOF, a technology that accelerates and refines microbiological analysis.

In practice, this means that with the use of MALDI-TOF, the time to release the results of blood cultures (tests used to diagnose infections in the blood stream) can be reduced in 48 to 72 hours. “This time is extremely precious to patients with blood stream infections, since each hour of delay in treatment can lead to an increase of 10% in the mortality rate,” explain researcher Líbera Maria Dalla Costa. This equipment also identifies microorganisms and fungus much faster, which is an important difference when compared to the method previously used and to the treatment’s resolution.

Scientific studies have shown that MALDI-TOF is a revolution in Clinical Microbiology. According to the World Health Organization, 14% of patients in Brazil are affected by hospital-acquired infections, as well as the cause of over 100,000 deaths in the country every year.

Through quick access to exam results, identification of the cause of the infection and information about the local indicators that are resistant to antibiotics, doctors can prescribe the most accurate treatment, increasing the patient’s safety and fighting the growing of superbacterias. A study done by KPMG Consulting shows that antibiotic resistant bacteria will kill at least 10 million people per year starting in 2050 and the costs of the treatment for these infections will reach up to US$100 trillion in the next decades.

In terms of hospital management, this new technology will reduce the cost with bacterial identification in more than 90%. Furthermore, it will provide greater precision in diagnosis and allow more efficient treatment, as well as reducing the amount of complementary testing to control the treatment, reducing additional costs. With more efficient treatment, there is consequently optimization of hospital beds, with faster recovery time and, consequently, less hospitalization time.

For the Research Institute, the equipment will permit the development of projects by students (scientific research, thesis projects, masters and doctorate programs), since MALDI-TOF technology has become crucial to publish articles in renowned scientific publications.

“The incorporation of this technology in the diagnosis of infectious diseases strengthens the institution’s guidelines of excellence in the health treatment of children and teenagers,” the researcher Líbera emphasized.

This equipment was bought with funds from a parliamentary amendment.

Click here and learn more about the use of the funds raised in 2021 Gala