Irish hospital to use new, rapid test for Meningitis

Irish hospital to use new, rapid test for Meningitis

An A&E department of a hospital in Northern Ireland has announced that is will soon start using a new test for meningitis to accelerate diagnosis and save more lives. The devastating meningitis infection can kill a high-risk patient within hours but the existing way to positively identify it takes nearly a couple of days.

Luckily, the new test for meningitis called "Lamp" (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) that the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is going to use will give results in less than 60 minutes.

Researcher Dr. Tom Waterfield from Queen's University in Belfast, said, “The test could also provide reassurance earlier to anxious parents that their sick child is getting the right treatment. Two days is a long time to wait for a confirmed diagnosis.”

Meningitis can be described as an infection of the defensive membranes that surround the brain as well as spinal cord. It is caused by numerous pathogens. Viral meningitis is the most common but least serious form of the infection. Bacterial meningitis is rare but it can be very serious.

Anyone can get hit by meningitis, but babies, teenagers or young adults face a significantly higher risk.