Point-of-care testing in the intensive care unit: The intensive care physician's perspective

H. J. Castro, J. M. Oropello, N. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Technological advancements have, for the first time, made the entire laboratory testing process feasible at the bedside. Physicians working in the intensive care unit have always had immediate access to patients' medical history, physical examination, and physiologic monitoring data, but had to wait for laboratory results. Using point-of-care testing, laboratory parameters targeted to critical illnesses can now be integrated into initial diagnostic assessments, on patient rounds, and during therapeutic maneuvers. The concept of point-of-care testing in the intensive care unit is relatively new, but as technology progresses, physicians will undoubtedly become aware and use it in the intensive care unit. This article focuses on the intensive care physician's perspective on laboratory testing, the evolution of the intensive care unit laboratory, advantages of point-of-care testing in that setting, new developments in arterial blood gas analyzers and monitors, and cost-effectiveness and incorporation of point-of-care testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S95-S99
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number4 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Analyzers
  • Bedside testing
  • Blood gases
  • Critical care
  • Electrolytes
  • Intensive care unit
  • Laboratories
  • Point of care
  • Stat


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