Operational

The result of a Quality Assessment review should not only be reviewed with the lab director but also testing staff on a monthly basis. If there is a problem with a test process, the testing staff need to be notified. If changes need to be made to a testing process, this will help your staff to understand why they were made and what the goal is for these changes.

Drugs of abuse: a challenging landscape for laboratories

The detection of new drugs of abuse presents a significant challenge to toxicology laboratories and legal authorities alike. Because of social and cultural factors, drug policies vary from country to country. One technology affects drug abuse across borders: the internet is playing a growing role in spreading information about new psychoactive substances—and in increasing their availability. 

The rapidly growing problem of so-called designer drugs, developed by modifying the chemical structure of existing drugs or the synthesis of new drugs, means that traditional drug detection methods are becoming increasingly inadequate. There is a clear need for adaptable testing solutions which can cope with the evolving picture. Drugs-of-abuse screening technology which allows multiple substances to be detected simultaneously from a single sample offers a good solution and is proving to be groundbreaking for toxicology laboratories.

An advanced solution

Today, the technology is routinely available for laboratories to cost-effectively screen a range of biological samples for drugs of abuse. Multiplexing methods set a new standard in immunoassay testing with greater sensitivity and broader detection for drug screening. Lab-on-a-chip methods offer a high throughput multiplex capability that cannot be matched by traditional methods…(Read More Here)

The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.

The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.

The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.

The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs…(Read More Here)

Anemia: classification challenge and clinical questions

Anemia is in the eye of the classifier. While that’s not as elegant as the “beauty-beholder” saying, it’s much more important. To be able to effectively treat and diagnose anemia, “You have to know what is causing the decrease in red cells,” said Sherrie Perkins, MD, PhD, speaking at an AACC workshop this year.

There are plenty of definitions to choose from, said Dr. Perkins, of the University of Utah/ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City. At the most basic level, she noted, anemia is a pathologic condition marked by a reduced capacity of blood to transport and deliver adequate oxygen to tissues. In short, anemia is a manifestation of disease, not a disease itself.

The most common CBC parameters used to establish anemia include hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, red blood cell concentration, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin. “That will give us some very good information,” but it’s far from perfect, she said, since hemoglobin concentration…(Read More Here)