More accurate urine screening
Published on: 06/06/2017
The Magic That Is Urine – It’s Pure Liquid Gold!
Mention the word ‘urine’ and you’ll get a mixed response – everything from smelly, dirty and unhygienic to magical, informative and liquid gold. It’s the latter that Forte Medical believes in and they are working hard to ensure everyone can benefit from right-first-time diagnosis and treatment from their urine specimens.
Urine is the window to your health and numerous health problems can be identified from even a small sample. Indeed over 65 million urine specimens are collected every year in the UK by doctors and nurses – that’s 250,000 patients providing specimens every working day – that’s how important it is.
But – and alas, it is a big but – of these, over 56,000 patients every day will not be correctly diagnosed and treated. Why? Research shows that on average, 22.5% of all urine specimens collected will be contaminated and not able to be used. That’s over 14 million people every year who should be getting help – but won’t!
For those of you involved in the ante-natal sector – as a healthcare worker or indeed an expectant mother – you will know how important regular screening is and the role that urine plays in identifying issues such as gestational diabetes, UTIs and protein levels. So how can we ensure right-first-time diagnosis and treatment?
At each antenatal clinic visit, women are given a standard Universal Container. They are told to provide a midstream urine sample by starting to pee, then positioning the pot under the stream to catch the middle bit. Wet hands, splashes and lack of dignity come hand-in-glove with the process. Not exactly dignified. Some patients are told to keep the tube, rinse and re-use it for the next urine screening, a practice that flies in the face of every guideline.
There is an alternative – the Peezy Midstream.
Designed by an NHS GP, Dr Vincent Forte in response to complaints from female patients, the Peezy Midstream has been proven to provide 98.5% accuracy, delivering right-first-time preventative medicine, patient dignity and huge-long term cost savings across the clinical pathways.
Today, it is the only urine specimen collection method which meets national guidelines; carefully engineered, the device collects midstream specimen directly into either the standard 30ml Universal Container or 10ml Primary Tube which fits into most automated urine analysers. Its ergonomic design makes it especially helpful for “ladies with pregnant bumps” as well as for the elderly and the young who may need assistance from carers in collecting samples.
A usability study this year from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) highlights 94% of patients saying they felt confident using the Peezy and over 70% recommending it.
Giovanna Forte, sister of the creator and Chief Executive of Forte Medical, tells of two individuals who experienced issues with the diagnosis of their illnesses and how Peezy Midstream helped.
“Philippa called after finding us on the internet. Her first pregnancy had been a nightmare; her urine screening had always been apparently fine until she started to develop complications. Simply, her sample was contaminated and masked a problem that ultimately hospitalised her. When she became pregnant a second time, this medical history required her to attend hospital for antenatal screening. She told us that having been given a jug to pee into, she handed this over to the nurse and watched it being put on a shelf where it sat uncovered for an hour or more before it was decanted into another tube and sent to the lab. She felt this lack of diligence was not going to help accurately assess her condition. After trying Peezy, she insisted that her consultant prescribed them and encountered no further problems along with peace of mind, which is terribly important.”
Many of us have seen our specimens be shelved before being tested; for those who find it difficult to pee into a narrow tube, it is easier to do it into something else first.
In another story told by Giovanna …
“We were contacted by a midwife, whose patient had glucose readings that were off the scale and although the woman seemed fine, they were worried about gestational diabetes. Whilst this can be treated, its presence means it is more likely that the mother can develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. It’s not promising for either mother or baby.
“We sent the midwife some Peezys to use and the results from this particular patient came back completely normal. It transpired that the woman had first peed into a jam-jar, then decanted the specimen into the tube. The sugar from the jam-jar – despite its having been thoroughly rinsed – had contaminated her urine with sugar.”
The way urine is tested has not changed for over 50 years, hardly a fit-for-purpose method for 21st Century medical analysis and diagnosis.
Our lives now are super-busy; we don’t have time to return to the clinic because our urine specimen is wrong; moreover, we need to trust those providing healthcare. It costs us and it costs the NHS even more in repeat analysis, nurse and appointment time – up to £1.3 billion; so why does this out-dated process still apply? Because it’s easier not to change.
Whilst midstream is the recommended urine specimen, there is little to guarantee its collection, or control how it is stored in the hours between leaving the patient and arriving at the lab. The outcomes include high contamination rates, costly retests, repeat appointments and potentially a contribution to the over-prescribing of unnecessary antibiotics. Mild conditions may become chronic; indeed, the dramatic rise and debilitating effects of Chronic Urinary Tract Infection were discussed in Parliament on 28th October last year. There is a new campaign – MUST – being launched soon calling for a ‘gold standard’ and/or protocol around specimen collection, so watch this space.
So, there you go – urine is liquid gold – an unsung hero of modern medicine and health economy.
Peezy Midstream is available on the NHS Supply Chain. For patients, Peezy is available on prescription so your midwives or GPs can prescribe as many as you need for your entire pregnancy, making your urine specimen as accurate as possible. Click here to download a prescription form.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7683 1964.