19 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Tan Tops

Chatting with the boss it seems that certain parts of the world use “tan-top” bottles as a safety measure in blood transfusion.
It is standard practice not to issue blood until (at least) two blood groups have been performed on a patient at different times to get round the seemingly eternal problem of the possibility of the wrong patient having been bled.

Apparently in the “tan-top” scheme blood will not be issued until a blood group has been performed on a tan-topped sample bottle; such bottles are *only* available from the blood transfusion department, and are only issued immediately prior to transfusion.

Is it a good idea? In theory yes. In practice… it is *if* there is time to fart around like this. It strikes me that this idea would be rather impractical in any urgent case.
I can’t help but think that it speaks volumes that I an’t find any reference to the scheme on-line…

13 August 2015 (Thursday) - S.H.O.T. Guidelines

Here’s an interesting article; unlike so many other websites this spells out in words of one syllable exactly what is and what is not reportable to the nice people at S.H.O.T. (Serious Hazards of Transfusion).

Another useful page is here; this one explains the big words used by S.H.O.T. On reading it I get the impression that S.H.O.T. actually *is* a sensible idea and not just the unnecessary regulation I initially thought it was.

I will need to find out more about this….

12 August 2015 (Wednesday) - BBTS Event

The BBTS Red Cell Special Interest team are holding a one-day scientific conference. It actually looks to be quite interesting with talks on erythropoesis, malaria, and red cell dynamics. Just recently I’ve whinged here about how irrelevant I find the mailings from the IBMS and the HCPC. Here’s something which looks interesting….


If this had been done as a newsletter or e-bulletin it would be fine. However it’s a one-day seminar. Forty-five quid’s not cheap, and it’s in Bristol.
Perhaps they will publish edited highlights of the day on-line eventually. I hope so.

11 August 2015 (Tuesday) - The Dombrock Blood Group System

I came across this article today: http://www.britannica.com/science/Dombrock-blood-group-system  - not too in-depth, but it never hurts to be aware of the more obscure blood group systems.

8 August 2015 (Saturday) - Granulocyte Transfusions

I've absolutely no experience of granulocyte transfusions. 
http://labmedicineblog.com/2015/07/28/five-things-to-know-granulocyte-transfusions/  was an easy to read introduction to the topic

7 August 2015 (Friday) - HCPC Newsletter

The HCPC newsletter came today. There is a new chair of council, some professions were told  their registrations are up for renewal, blah-de-blah.... it was rather dull.

Mind you they did have news about a survey that has been done about their newsletters http://www.hcpc-uk.org/assets/documents/10004C9EReportonthefindingsoftheHCPCInFocusfeedbacksurvey2015.doc

It speaks volumes that for all that there are tens of thousands of people registered with the HCPC, there was only about a hundred people filled in the survey.

6 August 2015 (Thursday) - WASPS

Every few months I get to take part in the WASPS scheme in which I perform some serological screening and compare my scores with everyone else across the country.

My results are in agreement with the majority view. I'm pleased about that...

5 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Daratumumab

On the one hand daratumumab is seen to be rather promising in the treatment of myeloma. On the other hand it (apparently) interferes in performing blood groups on automated systems as it causes panagglutination.

Apparently we are going to be involved in an international study.... I wonder how this will pan out

3 August 2015 (Monday) - IBMS Newsletter

"This month has seen two fascinating insights from IBMS members into the work of our profession. Allan Wilson discusses misconceptions about public screening while Becky Haywood is raising money for Ebola orphans after working in Sierra Leone. Amongst biomedical scientists there are thinkers, doers, communicators, teachers and pioneers. It’s why we ask you to help find the UK’s leading practising scientists in 2015.
Congress 2015 is shaping-up to be a huge success with 1,600 scientists already attending the 3 day event. In July we announced a career expo for students and a programme of talks exploring emerging technologies that will transform pathology.  This is in addition to our quality conference and programmes of scientific events. It is a Congress for everyone involved in biomedical science"
I'm sorry... I still find it all rather irrelevant to my daily round. Perhaps I should contribute something to it myself rather than just grumbling?

1 August 2015 (Saturday) - Inflammatory Markers

ESR or CRP? It's an argument which has been going on for some time. there's a place for each.