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Point of Care Testing Aids Collapsed Marathon Runners


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For the last 2 years, Roche has donated a cobas b 123 point of care (POC) system for use in the Waterford Viking Marathon medical field hospital tent on the day of the event.

The analyzer allows the medical team to test for a range of parameters, including blood gases and electrolytes, enabling them to quickly assess, diagnose and treat runners who experience difficulties, such as hyponatremia (a deficiency of sodium in the blood), at the finish line.

Hyponatremia is an important cause of race-related death and life-threatening illness in marathon runners.

“The provision of a cobas b 123 point of care analyzer on the day of the marathon, both last year and this year, gave us great confidence in our ability to provide the diagnostic capabilities required for the rapid field assessment of many emergencies associated with such an endurance event,” comments Sean Leavey, Consultant Nephrologist and Chief Medical Officer for the Waterford Viking Marathon. “We are extremely grateful to Roche for this valuable support.”

“The cobas b 123 POC System has a small footprint and is easy to use, making it ideal for use at the point of care. It provides rapid determination of 17 of the most important critical-care blood parameters, including blood gases, electrolytes, co-oximetry and metabolites, providing comprehensive and valuable information in emergency situations. This makes it a valuable piece of equipment at marathons, and other endurance sporting events, allowing collapsed participants to receive immediate diagnosis for the most prompt medical attention”, said Matt Sause, Director, Roche Ireland.

Some experts believe that such point of care analyzers should be standard equipment in the medical tents of endurance events, particularly at those that take place in hot environments.

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