Queries over safety of point-of-care-testing dismissed

CLAIMS from pathologists that point-of-care testing poses a danger to patients have been dismissed by a leading advocate. 

The claims came as reports surfaced about a bungle at PRP Diagnostic Imaging, in NSW, where a nurse accidentally used the same needle to test the blood sugar levels of 53 cancer patients. 

The nurse mistakenly believed the finger-prick device being used automatically changed needles.

Authorities have launched an investigation and the patients face a three-month wait to find out if they have been infected with HIV or hepatitis B or C.

Katherine McGrath, chief executive of the Australian Association of Pathology Practices, said the incident highlighted the dangers of the push for more point-of-care testing. 

“The risk with point-of-care testing is that because it looks so simple, people think that anyone can do it,” she said. 

“But it isn’t simple, it