General

04
January
2017

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

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

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

Categories: Microbiology, General

08
August
2014

Turning off Hard Copy Reports

Turning off Hard Copy Reports

As you will be aware, laboratory reports are sent to your Practice both by electronic transfer and in hard copy form. The Directorate has received several requests to cease printing and sending hard copy reports as they have limited value with the current electronic systems in place. Unfortunately, until recently, it has not been possible to prevent the printing of hard copy reports to individual locations. We are pleased to inform you that technical advancements now make this possible.

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: General

08
January
2014

NEW THIN URINE TUBES FOR MC&S

NEW THIN URINE TUBES FOR MC&S

The PHE Public Health Laboratory Birmingham are changing the type of sample tubes required for urines sent for microscopy, culture and sensitivity testing (M,C&S). The new tubes will fit directly onto the laboratory’s new automated analysers which will speed up the processing of urines. This is part of the quality improvement and technical modernisation strategy of the laboratory. The smaller volume required to fill the new style boric acid containers should also reduce the number of samples we cannot process due to them being under-filled. For urines for tests other than M,C&S (e.g. Pregnancy test, legionella antigen, virology, TB culture, chlamydia and gonorrhoea) please continue to use the sample containers currently required for those tests. For CSF's and any sterile sites e.g. Ascitic Fluid, Knee Aspirates, Pleural Fluids, PD Fluids, Pus samples and any other fluid samples please send them in a 20ml universal. Urines for MC&S in a 20ml universal will be rejected, so please send in correct container. Please check your requisition form to make sure you can order both types of specimwn containers.

Categories: Microbiology, General

20
September
2013

Urines for M,C&S – Change of Sample Tubes

The PHE Public Health Laboratory Birmingham (at Heartlands Hospital) are changing the type of sample tubes required for urines sent for microscopy, culture and sensitivity testing (M,C&S)

Urines for M,C&S – Change of Sample Tubes

What are the new urine sample tubes like?

  • The new tubes are smaller and have a 10ml capacity.
  • They will still be available in both a “red top” boric acid containing version and plain “white top” version.

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: Microbiology, General

09
August
2013

New AFP Assay in use from 9th August 2013

New AFP Assay in use from 9th August 2013
New method for AFP as of 9th August 2013 with extended dynamic range to 167,660 iU/mL.  Please contact the duty biochemist (bleep 2506) if you wish to discuss this further.
 
The reference range for the new assay is 0.7-7.3 iu/L

Categories: Biochemistry, General

20
March
2013

Prolactin Assay Change

The prolactin assay will be changing in the next few weeks. This is because it has been re-standardised by the manufacturer.

The new assay gives results approximately 25% lower than what is currently reported. 

Categories: Biochemistry, General

29
June
2012

Geocoding of Laboratory Data

Geocoding of Laboratory Data

This is a general outline of what I use and how I have geocoded laboratory results. I have a paper in press in the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry on the geocoding of vitamin D

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: Biochemistry, General

08
January
2015

Guidance on Testing for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria

Guidance on Testing for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH) is an acquired haematopoietic stem cell disorder resulting in a partial or total deficiency of proteins normally linked to cell membranes by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Classical features are;

  • intravascular haemolysis
  • bone marrow failure
  • thrombotic tendency
  • may also include abdominal pain, dysphagia, erectile dysfunction, renal failure, lethargy

It can often go undiagnosed for months or even years. Flow cytometry can provide a definitive diagnosis.

Click here for further guidance on PNH testing. Contact the laboratory on 0121 424 0704.

Written by: Mark Hill Categories: Haematology, General

29
May
2014

Laboratory Information System Migration

Laboratory Information System Migration
In order to bring systems in line with the restructured laboratory services the Laboratory Medicine directorate will be migrating to new Laboratory Information System Databases for Blood Sciences and Microbiology.
 
The migration is due to commence at 8am Monday 2nd June.
 
No downtime is anticipated but there may be some temporary disruption as the migration progresses.
 
The Blood Sciences System will replace what is currently the separate disciplines of Chemistry, Haematology and Immunology as a single department. As such the ICE Reporting System will display reports as Blood Sciences (Orange highlighting).

Categories: Blood Sciences, Microbiology, Cellular Pathology, Haematology, Immunology, Biochemistry, General

29
October
2013

New telephone number for Microbiology

New telephone number for Microbiology

7th November Microbiology will be changing their telephone number to 0121 424 3111 please? This is an automated system and users should follow the instructions given.

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: Microbiology, General

31
August
2013

New Laboratory

New Laboratory

A video of the new laboratory at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: Haematology, Biochemistry, General

10
June
2013

From Saturday May 25th the Weekend Phlebotomy service at Boots has transferred back to Solihull Hospital

From Saturday May 25th the Weekend Phlebotomy service at Boots has transferred back to Solihull Hospital

From Saturday May 25th the Phlebotomy service at Boots has transferred back to Solihull Hospital into the new expanded facility. Access is via the South entrance and is signposted.

  • Saturday 8.30 – 12.00
  • Sunday 10.30 – 13.30

Written by: Craig Webster Categories: General