Roll-out expanded of genetic test that has already saved hearing of six newborns

Routine use in Manchester maternity settings of the Genedrive non-invasive swab genetic testing system has already saved the hearing of six babies who required antibiotic treatment, says the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

Published on 24 September 2023

Roll-out expanded of genetic test that has already saved hearing of six newborns

Earlier this year, the new system was given a conditional recommendation for clinical use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), following the success of pilot implementation in 2021 at Saint Mary’s Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and subsequent introduction into routine use at St. Mary’s in October 2022.
GeneDrive uses a simple cheek swab, and can identify in 26 minutes whether a critically ill baby has a gene change that could result in permanent hearing loss if they are given the common emergency antibiotic, Gentamicin.
Now, Genedrive is also being used at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) and Wythenshawe Hospital, and is to be extended throughout the North West region


Hearing saved of babies that needed antibiotics


It is estimated that approximately 1,700 babies a year will be tested at MFT, which has so far saved the hearing of six babies in Greater Manchester since the pilot in 2021 through to the implementation of the test in 2022.
Rachel Parkinson, Senior Sister, Neonatal Unit, North Manchester General Hospital, said: “Babies can deteriorate so quickly that giving them antibiotics for proven or suspected infection is an absolute priority to ensure the best possible outcome. It is fantastic that in these situations we can now test quickly and easily for this gene change, day or night. Source: University of Manchester

Source: University of Manchester


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