Latest News

  • Notification of changes to Histology Staining

    Item Author Craig Webster

    Haematoxylin and eosin platform change.

    We are changing our platform for the haematoxylin and eosin stain used for all routine histopathology cases to the Roche HE600 platform from Monday 4th September 2017. This is to allow us to improve the workflow and traceability of reagents used.

    The existing platform will remain in use as contingency and for macro slide staining.

    During slide review at MDT meetings you may notice a difference in the tone of the staining.
    This new platform will be assessed by UKAS against ISO 15189 standards at our next annual inspection in October.

    For further information about this change please contact the department on 0121 424 3188 and ask to speak to a senior member of staff.

  • HbA1c Analysis Affected by Extreme Environmental Factors

    Item Author Joanne Duffy

    Over the weekend of 8-9 July 2017 there was a failure of the air conditioning in the laboratory that performs HbA1c analysis. As a result the samples were exposed to unprecedented temperatures that ultimately affected the stability of the glycated haemoglobin in these samples.

    These samples have unfortunately had to be deemed unsuitable for analysis.

    We apologies for the inconvenience to anyone affected by this incident and have put steps in place to prevent this happening again.

    If you have any further queries about this incident, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • Notification of change in service for the diagnosis of H Pylori Infections

    Notification of change in service for the diagnosis of H Pylori Infections

    Item Author Joanne Duffy

    The laboratories at HEFT are changing the way we diagnose H. pylori infections. Urease breath tests (UBT) and blood tests (helicobacter serology) will no longer be available from our laboratories with immediate effect. These tests are being replaced with a Stool Antigen Test (SAT).

    Guidance released in 2012 on the management of H. pylori (Management of Helicobacter pylori infection—the Maastricht IV/ Florence Consensus Report) indicates that the SAT is equivalent to UBT in terms of diagnostic performance and does not require a hospital appointment like UBT. Helicobacter serology is also not recommended by updated PHE guidelines for most patients (PHE H. pylori guideline).

    The stool antigen is reliable for both diagnosis and post eradication testing, provided the patient has avoided PPIs for 2 weeks and antibiotics for 4 weeks prior to sample collection.

    A stool sample is required and samples must arrive in the laboratory within 48 hours of collection. Patients should be advised to bring the properly labelled stool sample in a blue topped sample pot (picture below) to the GP surgery or laboratory reception as soon as possible after collection, ideally same day or next morning.

    If you have any queries relating to this notice, please do not hesitate to contact us:

    Duty Biochemist:

    Telephone: 0121 424 2000 (Bleep 2506)

  • Notification of Assay Change: Vitamin D

    Item Author Joanne Duffy

    We are changing our Vitamin D method to the Abbott Total 25OH-Vitamin D method from Monday 16th January 2017. This is to allow us to process more rapidly the very large number of requests for vitamin D.

    Reference ranges and specimen requirements will not change.

    The circulating form of vitamin D is hydroxylated colecalciferol (vitamin D3). Most patients with vitamin D deficiency are also treated with vitamin D3, but a small number of patients are given ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) instead. Since the Abbott method cannot detect vitamin D2 in equimolar concentrations (up to 50% under-recovery), those given ergocalciferol will require their serum vitamin D levels to be measured using the mass spectroscopy method.

    The mass spectrometry method can be requested for patients on D2 using ICE requesting. If ICE requesting is not available, please use the clinical details section to document this or alternatively request “VITDMS” in the tests request section.

    All paediatric samples will be run on the mass spectrometer due to the smaller sample volume requirements on this method.

    The new abbott Vitamin D assay is awaiting accreditation and will be assessed by UKAS against ISO 15189 standards at our next annual inspection.

    For further information about vitamin D and the methods we offer please visit the test database. If you have any queries relating to this notice, please do not hesitate to contact us: Duty Biochemist: 0121 424 2000 (Bleep 2506)

  • Dual Liquid Swabs for MRSA Screening (Heart of England Trust Only)

    Dual Liquid Swabs for MRSA Screening (Heart of England Trust Only)

    Item Author Craig Webster

    The PHE microbiology laboratory at Heartlands is no longer able to process dual liquid swabs for MRSA screening if two swabs are left in the sample tube.

    To perform a dual emergency MRSA screen, swab the patient's nostrils with the pink swab; put the swab into the tube and rotate the swab against the side of tube to release the sample into the liquid. Do not break off the pink swab into the tube - remove and discard the pink swab after the sample has been added to the liquid. The white swab used for the patient's groin should still be broken off and left in the tube.

    Full instructions for using Dual Liquid Swabs for MRSA Screening can be found under "infection control" then "MRSA" on the HEFT intranet: http://intranet_1/infectioncontrol/MRSA%20Dual%20Swab%20Poster%20May15.pdf

Introduction

Written by Craig Webster on .

This handbook encompasses all disciplines of Laboratory Medicine at Birmingham Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals. It has been designed to provide the busy general practitioner and hospital doctor more readily available information regarding our services. 

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You can search or browse our test directory here. This database includes details on all our tests and recommended profiles for the investigation of common presenting complaints.
 

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