Critical Care and Point-of-Care Testing in Cambodia and Vietnam

Gerald J Kost, Ket Vansith, Masarus Tuntideelert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The goal of this article is to describe the status of critical care and point-of-care testing in Cambodia and Vietnam. Field surveys of primary care facilities, community hospitals, and regional (referral) hospitals were conducted in both countries. Two survey tools were used: (a) short form for live interviews and (b) long form for detailed responses, in conjunction with collection of laboratory test menus, requisitions, and instrument lists. In Cambodia, select children's hospitals were surveyed to gather information on pediatric care. A total of 6 hospitals (2 pediatric and 4 general) were surveyed in Cambodia and 10 general hospitals (3 small, 3 medium, and 4 large) in Vietnam. Clinical laboratories in Cambodia were deficient in instrumentation, test menus, and computerization versus Vietnam where newer equipment and broader test menus (eg, cardiac troponin I and T) were encountered. Pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation monitoring and whole-blood analyzers for critical care testing, including ionized calcium (Ca2+), were found more frequently in Vietnam, where glucose meters and other point-of-care tests were used for bedside monitoring. In Cambodia, point-of-care testing was rudimentary or absent, and evidence-based diagnosis was deficient in community hospitals and rural areas. To improve standards of care, these countries need to invest heavily, particularly to provide blood gas testing for critical care and ventilatory management, but preventative medicine, treatment of infectious diseases, and other compelling needs compete for health dollars. Philanthropy is deemed vital. Point-of-care specialists and corporate enterprises are encouraged to donate expertise and resources to diminish empirical decision making and inequitable suffering, especially of mothers and children in Cambodia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic Surgical Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • blood gas and pH testing
  • cardiac biomarkers
  • community hospital
  • critically ill
  • demography
  • electrolytes
  • guidelines
  • health resource
  • ionized calcium
  • neonatal bilirubin
  • pediatrics
  • regional hospital
  • standard of care
  • whole-blood analyzer
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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