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Innovations in point-of-care testing for enhanced United States disaster caches

Corbin M. Curtis, BS, Richard F. Louie, PhD, FACB, John H. Vy, BS, William J. Ferguson, BS, Mandy Lam, Anh-Thu Truong, Michael J. Rust, PhD, Gerald J. Kost, MD, PhD, MS, FACB


Objective: To describe, innovate, recommend, and foster the implementation of point-of-care (POC) testing in disaster caches to enhance crisis standards of care and to improve triage, diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, and management of victims and volunteers in complex emergencies and disasters.
Design and settings: The authors compared POC testing in United States disaster caches to commercially available POC testing to enhance the caches and to reflect current state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities. The authors also provided recommendations based on literature review and knowledge from newly developed POC technologies from the UC Davis Pointof-Care Technologies Center.
Results: Presently, US POC testing caches comprise chemistry/electrolytes, pregnancy, hemoglobin, cardiac biomarkers, hematology, fecal occult blood, drugs of abuse, liver function, blood gases, and limited infectious diseases. Deficiencies with existing POC tests for cardiac biomarkers, hematology, and infectious diseases should be eliminated. POC resources can be customized for pandemics, complex emergencies, or disasters based on geographic location and potential infectious diseases. Additionally, a new thermally stabilized container can help alleviate environmental stresses that reduce test quality.
Conclusions: Innovations in POC technologies can improve response preparedness with enhanced diagnostic capabilities. Several innovations, such as the i-STAT® Wireless, OraQuick ADVANCE® HIV-1/2, VereTrop™ Lab-on-a-Chip, and new compact hematology analyzers will improve test clusters that facilitate evidence-based decision making and crisis standards of care during US national disaster responses. Additionally, strategic resources and operator training should be globally harmonized to improve the efficiency of international responses.


analytical errors, cardiac troponin I, crisis standards of care, deployment logistics, disaster preparedness and response framework, preparedness, quality assurance, resiliency

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