• Can handheld POC capillary lactate measurement be used with arterial and venous laboratory testing methods in the identification of sepsis?

      Lightowler, Bryan; Hoswell, Anthony (Mark Allen Group, 2016)
      The aim of this review was to examine whether the measurement of lactate in capillary blood samples using point-of-care handheld analysers corresponds sufficiently closely with arterial and venous whole-blood samples analysed by hospital central laboratory or blood gas analyser to be used interchangeably. A systematic search, informed by focused inclusion/exclusion criteria, was performed using multiple databases up to October 2015. A total of 65 articles were considered to have potential relevance and were evaluated in full text, of which ultimately five articles met all inclusion/exclusion criteria, and a final four were selected after data extraction and quality appraisal. All four studies found a predominantly upward bias in the measurement of lactate in capillary samples tested using a handheld point-of-care device over arterial or venous samples tested by laboratory methods or blood gas analyser. In terms of correlation, there was consensus between the studies that the strength of association between the two methods of measurement was statistically significant. Three studies directly examined the extent of agreement between point-of-care capillary lactate measurements and those of laboratory or blood gas analyser reference determined to ±2 standard deviations; 95% confidence intervals, and report contextually broad limits of agreement, identifying a potential for both over triage and, to a lesser extent, under triage. The findings of the review do not support interchangeable use of handheld fingertip point-of-care lactate measurement with laboratory or blood gas analyser methods in the identification of sepsis.
    • Point-of-care lactate measurement for suspected sepsis in the prehospital environment: are we missing the point at the sharp end?

      Lightowler, Bryan (Mark Allen Group, 2020-04-02)
      Expecting ambulance clinicians to dependably differentiate the life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by sepsis from an inflammatory response to a non-infectious aetiology, relying upon vital signs and a physical examination of the patient alone, must be considered unrealistic. Although lactate measurement has been integrated into numerous prehospital sepsis screening tools, it is not yet measured routinely within UK ambulance services. Research has generally focused on whether handheld point-of-care lactate measurement devices are as accurate as laboratory analysis of venous or arterial samples. The weight of literature has concluded negatively in relation to this. However, there is potential for handheld devices to be used independently to monitor trends in lactate elimination or accumulation to inform decisions on the efficacy of prehospital interventions, or simply to report categorical data in terms of whether lactate levels are elevated or not. This offers UK paramedics the opportunity to improve sepsis care through the enhanced assessment of risk and acuity, the identification of patients with cryptic shock, more aggressive fluid resuscitation and advanced notification to receiving units.