Electronic nose detects pneumonia in critically ill patients
According to a team of researchers from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an electronic nose - a relatively new version of a sensor previously used in the food, wine and perfume industries - can quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients. The results will be presented at the CHEST 2002 Annual Meeting Tuesday, November 5th in San Diago.
"We wanted to further explore using the e-nose after the exciting results of an initial study we conducted back in 1997 with only 20 patients," said C. William Hanson, III, MD, associate professor of Anesthesia, Surgery and Internal Medicine, and lead author of the study. When it comes to lower pulmonary infections, especially in critically ill patients, time is of the essence for disease control. "Rather than waiting two to three days for the results of a bacterial culture or relying on chest X-rays which arent always accurate, the e-nose can give us a head start toward a proper diagnoses. We could avoid over-prescribing powerful antibiotics which are usually given to patients while were waiting for their test results, even though we dont know if they actually need them," adds Hanson.
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