On February 1, 2016, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Laboratory became the first hospital in the Upper Peninsula to offer state-of-the-art multiplex molecular, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing. PCR testing examines multiple organisms on a single sample for upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, meningitis and encephalitis infections.
The upper respiratory test panel screens for 20 different organisms that can cause disease, 17 viruses and 3 bacteria. The Gastrointestinal test panel screens for 22 different organisms, 13 bacteria, 5 viruses, and 3 parasites. The meningitis/encephalitis test panel screens for 17 organisms, 8 bacteria, 8 viruses, and 1 yeast.
The results are available in approximately one hour compared to the traditional organism testing where results may take days or weeks. These rapid organism panels offer a significant improvement in the prompt diagnosis of potentially serious infections.