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Diagnostic catheter may lower infections

March 31, 2010 at 12:47 AM

SAN DIEGO, March 31 (UPI) -- A U.S. medical device company says it has designed a kit for doctors to reduce respiratory tract infections by accurately diagnosing lung secretions.

CareFusion, in San Diego, says its AirLife Diagnostic Catheter relies on advanced "mini" bronchial-alveolar lavage technology -- a diagnostic procedure of washing a sample of cells and secretions from the bronchial airspaces, to obtain a specimen from the lower respiratory airway at a patient's bedside.

"By allowing respiratory therapists to accurately obtain specimens, doctors can choose the right medication to help avoid excessive antibiotic use and quickly resolve the isolated infection," Kathy Short, director of respiratory care services at the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill, says in a statement.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia accounts for approximately 25 percent of all hospital-associated infections and up to 27 percent of infections in intensive-care units, the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine says.

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