Perfusion Policies 101: I-STAT


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FA 2016

Editor’s Note:


Welcome to PERFUSION POLICIES 101.  This will be a continuing series provided to assist your programs with that one puzzle piece we all run into now and then- that one time that an unexpected patient condition may give you pause…

The intention here is to disseminate some basic recipes that have probably been implemented at countless institutions, for God knows how long.  The usual disclaimers obviously apply:  

Due Diligence is the Responsibility of the Reader!

Use the information as you feel fit, recognizing that this is information gleaned from multiple sources, it is recruited from the public domain of the internet, with no implied assurance of accuracy- but is cogent, and based on logical and reasonable clinical rationale.

Frank Aprile 🙂

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Determination of STAT Blood Gases and chemistries by perfusionsist Using the I-STAT Portable Clinical Analyzer

The policies and procedures contained in this manual are to be strictly followed.  For additional information or assistance call Point of Care Testing.

Purpose of the Test

The I-STAT Chemistry Analyzer  is used  in patient care areas:

  1. where results are needed urgently (e.g. intensive care unit/emergency room/operating room)
  2. where there is requirement to reduce the specimen size (e.g. nurseries)
  3. where patient treatment regimes require it ( e.g. dialysis or CPB).


Regulatory Considerations/Responsibilities

Note: Only personnel with documented training on this instrument may operate it.  Violations of these regulations of the policies and procedures that follow will result in the removal of the system from the patient care area until satisfactory remedial action is taken.


The I-STAT system incorporates comprehensive components needed to perform blood analysis at the point of care.  Just 2-3 drops of fresh whole blood is all that is required, and the portable batter-operated analyzer displays quantitative test results in approximately 2 min.  The system consists of the following: the cartridge, the analyzer, and a central data station.

Principles of the Test

A single-use disposable cartridge contains a microfabricated sensor array, a calibrant solution, fluidics system, and a waste chamber.  Sensors fir analysis of sodium potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, PpH, PCO2, PO2 urea nitrogen (BUN),  glucose, and hematocrit are available in a variety of panls.  A whole blood sample of approximately 2-4 drops is dispensed into the cartridge sample well.

A handheld analyzer into hich the blood-filled cartridge is placed for analysis automatically controls all functions of the testing cycle, including fluid movement within the cartridge

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