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A35 at New Cross Hospital

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Date: 2013-02-21

At New Cross Hospital we culture all manner of samples from the human body, eg blood, wound, ear, nose, throat, eye and genital swabs, pus, tissues, sputum, urines and faeces. In addition we have a serology and molecular section. We process approximately 370,000 samples per annum.

We use the Whitley A35 Workstation for the culture of anaerobes from blood culture, ear, wound, tissue and pus samples. It is used regularly by around 16 members of staff.

The key features to us of the A35 are:

  • It uses less gas due to a smaller airlock (smaller than the old Whitley Workstation we had)
  • We can also use nitrogen in addition to the anaerobic gas mixture, and this is therefore cheaper
  • We have the sleeveless option which is easier and uses less gas
  • We have the ability to put in single plates through the letterbox
  • There is plenty of room within the cabinet and it is well lit
  • We have the removable front version, which means we are able to take the front off completely, if required, for cleaning purposes
  • We also find the touch screen easy to use.

The A35 complements other anaerobic work/equipment in our laboratory as the other anaerobic work we do, in terms of identification and sensitivity testing, is based on anything we isolate from this system.

This workstation has helped improve workflow and working practices/ procedures, particularly as the airlock cycle is completed rapidly so no time is wasted trying to change gloves, etc. Being able to use the letterbox on-call and for single plates is also less time consuming.

Technical assistance from Don Whitley Scientific has always been excellent, though what is even better is the fact that the systems have always been so reliable!  On one occasion, a colleague logged a call on 6th September due to issues we were having with aerobes growing in the cabinet. There was an engineer here the following day who was immediately able to sort the problem out.


Juliette Whittaker

Laboratory Manager

New Cross Hospital