April 19, 2011 (Tuesday) - The ESR
The International Committee for Standardisation in Haematology has released new guidelines for performing the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Fortunately the new international guidelines correspond exactly with our current practice.
I’m amazed that in today’s high-tech medical laboratory there is any place for the ESR. Suck blood up a tube, leave if for an hour, and see how much it settles. The more it settles, the more ill the patient.
But I suppose the secret of its success is its simplicity. Rather than performing a battery of very specific tests, the GP has a one-stop test to weed the workshy from the genuinely ill. Having determined a patient is really ill with an ESR, more specific testing can be performed.
Quite fortuitous that I should have found that link today, as over lunchtime I had a tutorial with some of the specialist portfolio students on the topic of ESRs.