A newly available meningitis test developed in Belfast should be rolled out as soon as possible, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Each year, 200 children are diagnosed with Meningitis and 10% of these children will die. A further 10% will suffer major disabilities such as brain damage or amputations. While another 33% have some form of after effect. The current test can take up to 48 hours to confirm a result.
Senator Catherine Noone said: “Ireland has one of the highest rates of Meningitis in Europe; we must therefore ensure that we continually offer the best and most efficient means to treat this disease.
“The ‘LAMP’ test, developed in Belfast can produce accurate results for Meningitis within an hour. This means that children with the condition can begin life-saving treatment much sooner than is currently possible.
“The test has been trialed for two years by the NHS and studies in America have confirmed LAMP as diagnostically accurate.
“Switching to the LAMP test will not incur any significant costs and is straightforward for any hospital with a lab.
“I believe by adopting this test into the Irish health system we can give children the best possible chance of fighting off this disease and recovering without significant damage to their health and wellbeing,” said the Fine Gael Senator.