New device will help Beckley ARH improve COVID-19 testing

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital held the safety of their patients and staff as the highest priority, according to CEO Rocco Massey.

Six months later, those standards have not changed. In fact, Massey said they may have improved with new COVID-19 testing equipment.

“We really want this hospital identified as the safest place to be,” Massey said. “This testing certainly validates that with our ability now to test around the clock. Your safety is our biggest concern and this test will pretty much guarantee it.”

Massey said the DiaSorin MDX changed the way BARH conducts COVID-19 testing. Previously, test results took up to 48 hours to return. Rapid tests shortened that time to 90 minutes. The DiaSorin MDX produces a test result in as little as one hour.

“It takes a very small sample of a patients DNA and it replicates it multiple times,” Lexie Berry, Laboratory Director, said.

Massey said The machine then determines whether COVID-19 is present in the sample.

“We take the patients nasopharyngeal sample,” Berry said. “Take a 50 microliter pipette through a filtered tip. We asperate 50 microliters of the sample and then we place into this little card and it goes into the sample well.”

Massey added with this machine, they will be able to test every person who enters Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.

“We’re going to test every body that comes into our emergency room,” Massey said. “You’re going to get a swab as soon as you enter. If you’re admitted to the hospital, you’re going to get a test. If we have an employee who has a symptom, they’re going to get a test.”

Massey said the DiaSorin cuts down the number of patients under investigation for COVID-19 with the short result time. The machine can test up to eight swabs at a single time.

Massey added they will continue to test patients every three days to assure patient safety.

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