Doncaster hospital to introduce specialist equipment to diagnose meningitis

Marc 'MJ' Poole who died of suspected meningitis
Marc 'MJ' Poole who died of suspected meningitis
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Doncaster Royal Infirmary is set to bring in a specialist machine which can diagnose meningitis in less than an hour.

Current testing at the hospital takes up to seven days but new equipment , which is set to be in place by mid-June, will confirm the disease in a matter of minutes. 

Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust, the organisation which runs Doncaster Royal Infirmary, will have the Film Array machine in place by the middle of June it has confirmed, at a cost of around £30,000 a year. 

Funded by the Fred and Ann Green Legacy, Film Array is a new technology that can diagnose causes of meningitis and encephalitis within an hour – compared to current testing which can take up to seven days.

The cutting-edge machine works by testing cerebrospinal fluid for common pathogens that can cause central nervous infections including viruses, bacteria and yeast.

Meningitis is said to remain a big killer, with a 10 per cent chance of mortality.

Health bosses say the technology has been used in a number of other hospitals with positive effects.

Dr Ken Agwuh, director of infection prevention and control at the trust, said: “I am delighted that, with this kind donation, we have been able to purchase this specialist equipment.

“I want to thank the trustees of the Fred and Ann Green Legacy for providing the trust with the essential funds needed to provide this potentially life-saving tool.”

The mother of a child who died from meningitis has welcomed the move to bring the potentially lifesaving equipment to Doncaster, although she is sad that it was not in place earlier.

Marc ‘MJ’ Poole, aged four, from Mexborough, died after a two-day battle with meningitis last May.

MJ’s mum Sharon Carver said: “If a child gets meningitis then they can diagnose it really quickly and I take heart in that because I wouldn’t want any mum or dad to go through what we went through.”