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Original scientific paper

https://doi.org/10.20471/acc.2021.60.02.11

Building the COVID-19 Testing Capacities in Croatia: Establishing the Interdepartmental COVID-19 Unit at the Split University Hospital Centre

Nenad Kunac ; Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Cytology, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia
Joško Bezić ; Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Cytology, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia
Arijana Vuko ; Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Cytology, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia
Željana Bašić ; University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Ivan Jerković ; University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Ivana Kružić ; University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Toni Ljubić ; University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Bernarda Lozić ; Department of Pediatrics, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia
Sanda Sardelić ; Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia
Šimun Anđelinović ; Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Cytology, Split University Hospital Centre, Split, Croatia; School of Medicine, University of Split, Split, Croatia


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Abstract

This paper presents the chronology, experiences, and challenges in introducing
COVID -19 RT -PCR testing in Split, Croatia. We describe the processes from March 12, 2020 to
May 26, 2020, starting from the initial knowledge transfer, expert team formation and management,
testing implementation, and concluding with the standalone testing facilities, which used automated
processes sufficient to meet testing requirements at that time. In the case presented, the COVID -19
unit was organized by joining human and laboratory resources from five clinical departments at the
Split University Hospital Centre. Sample preparation procedures and analyses were launched within
the restricted time frame while simultaneously training and organizing new laboratory staff and completing
equipment requirements. As a result, the process that started with 30 tests per day was constantly
improved over time and reached up to 160 tests per day when MagNA Pure was added to automatize
RN A extraction at the end of April. At that pace, the cumulative number of samples soon
exceeded the first thousand, and by the end of May it exceeded 4000. The case presented provides an
example of good practice for crisis response and organization that successfully enabled sufficient COVID
-19 testing capacities within the restricted time frame, human and technical resources. Despite
limited understanding of COVID -19 at that time, appropriate management, transfer of knowledge,
previous experiences in related laboratory and diagnostic work, as well as interdisciplinary and interdepartmental
cooperation proved appropriate to overcome the above limitations and ensure adequate
healthcare response.

Keywords

COVID-19, RT-PCR, Split, Croatia

Hrčak ID:

263491

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/263491

Article data in other languages: croatian

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