Predictability of urinalysis parameters in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection: a case study

Early diagnostic strategies to rule out uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) or test of exclusion could significantly improve patient management in addition to providing optimal cost-effectiveness. We evaluated the predictability of dipstick parameters, with particular emphasis on leukocyte esterase (LE) and nitrite (NT) tests and microscopic urine sediment analysis as predictors of urinary tract infection in the setting of an urban university hospital. A total of 9,845 culture positive urine samples (7,095 females, 2,750 males; 8,938 clean catch, 907 catheterized specimens) collected over a period of twelve months from all patients seen at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, were included in this retrospective study. Dipstick and urinalysis data were independently correlated and compared with positive culture results. Either individually or in combination, LE and NT were positive in 30% (2,912/9,845), while both LE and NT were negative in 70% (6,933/9,845) of the total culture positive urine samples. There was no correlation of several other measured variables to culture positive urine samples. This study demonstrates that the uses of LE and/or NT are poor screening parameters as predictors of UTI, in the absence of additional clinical information…(Read more here)

The 2015 MLO annual salary survey

That’s the message the clinical lab got this past year, either explicitly or by implication—and come to think of it, it’s the same one lab directors have been hearing for a while. Belt-tightening has been the order of the day, and will continue to be.

But so are exciting new assays and approaches, new possibilities in automation, the continuing emergence of molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine, and new quality assurance, reimbursement, and regulatory models that present opportunities as well as challenges for the clinical lab. It is an exciting time for the industry, one of increasing professionalism and vitality. The 2015 MLO salary survey presents a snapshot of that time, and of the current state of the clinical lab. Like all snapshots, it has limitations, but it captures a moment, providing a picture of the realities of the laboratory profession today and of trends that can be clearly observed and, perhaps, seen coming from a distance.

The average salary as reported by the 2015 survey is $80,985. This represents an increase from the 2014 reported average of $71,086. The average salary of a female in the industry is $75,535, which is 21,004 less than the average male compensation of $96,539.  Just over 69 percent of survey respondents are lab professionals in a hospital lab setting. The largest number of respondents (28.9%) are associated with laboratories with ten or fewer employees, followed by 24.8% who work in labs that employ between 21 and 50…  (Read More Here)

lab-ask laboratory professionals salary survey by MLO

Source of the image: MLO

Operational

When evaluating new instrumentation, make sure there is a large peer group for the instrument with your proficiency testing provider. If there is no peer group, your results will be compared to the entire testing group for methodology. This could cause you to receive unnecessary unacceptable performance results for some analytes.

WHO Warns Of Pandemics Worse Than 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak

The world is highly vulnerable to a severe flu pandemic and governments should increase surveillance, vigilance and preparedness, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. “Nothing about influenza is predictable — including where the next pandemic might emerge and which virus might be responsible,” the United Nations health agency warned while noting the next pandemic could be worse than the 2009 swine flu outbreak that killed over 284,000. This year’s seasonal flu season has been bad in many parts of the world, with Asia, the Americas and Europe reporting high levels of circulating flu viruses and low levels of protection from vaccines that did not match the relevant strains. The health organization is particularly concerned about avian influenza, noting that the diversity and geographical distribution of influenza viruses currently circulating in wild and domestic birds are unprecedented. “The world needs to be concerned,” it said. The highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, which has been causing poultry outbreaks in Asia almost continuously since 2003 and is now endemic in several countries, is the influenza virus of greatest concern for human health…(Read More Here)