16 October 2015 (Friday) - New BCSH Guidelines

An email came today telling me of new guidelines that have recently been published:

  • Use of JAK inhibitors in the management of myelofibrosis - revised
  • Modification of BCSH diagnostic criteria for essential thrombocythaemia
  • Interim statement BCSH CLL guideline
  • Diagnosis and management of Aplastic Anaemia
  • Guidelines on the identification and management of pre-operative anaemia
  • Investigation and management of Nodular Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Some are of direct relevance to me; others not so. But one of the more informative emails I’ve received recently

15 October 2015 (Thursday) - BBTS Newsletter

An email from the BBTS “Bloodspots”. As newsletters go it didn’t really have much to say for itself. In many ways I saw it as a sales pitch.
For all that I’d like to improve my knowledge; and there are some glaring gaps in my blood transfusion knowledge, these courses they are pushing aren’t cheap:

  • The Uncertainty of it All”  £90

  • “Spotlight on Platelets” £90 / non-members £95

  • Red Cell Special Interest Group”  £45.00

  • Specialist Certificate in Transfusion Science Practice £891

Time was work would pay the course fees. Perhaps I’m just an old leftie?

13 October 2015 (Tuesday) - BT NEQAS Report

There was a rather interesting discussion on the report of the latest blood transfusion NEQAS report:

Where antibody identification cannot be concluded using the patient phenotype and results of testing all available panel cells by IAT and enzyme, additional techniques can be used to make progress. E.g. the presence of anti-M can be excluded or confirmed using an antibody panel by direct agglutination at room temperature.

Although anti-K would normally be expected to react in a 2-stage enzyme technique, it is advisable to exclude its presence by IAT, since the sensitivity of the 2-stage enzyme technique can be variable.

Positive identification requires at least two positive reactions with red cells that express the corresponding antigen (and are antigen negative for other specificities potentially present), as a single positive reaction could be a false positive or
be due to an antibody to a low frequency antigen
When interpreting antibody identification results, all available information should be reviewed, including results of all techniques and of the screening panel1, to ensure that all possible exclusions are made and that there are no reactions unaccounted for by the antibodies identified.”

I need to think outside the box a little more in cases like this…

7 October 2015 (Wednesday) - Lunchtime Lecture

At rather short notice I was invited to go to a talk over lunchtime. A presentation on the new coagulation analyser which we should be getting some time in the next few months.

In retrospect I rather resent having given up my lunch break. To be fair to the rep perhaps she wasn’t aware of the exact demographic of her audience. She spent an hour trying to sell me the machine. I wasn’t buying it; the sale has already been made. I wanted to know all about the machine itself; not the corporate drivel about the company.

Oh well… CPD isn’t always successful

3 October 2015 (Saturday) - A Reflection

I subscribe to the “New Medical Laboratory Scientist” Facebook group. Sometimes there are articles of note on there, sometimes it is just one big squabble.
I was amazed to see this post today from someone in the USA. 

I honestly don’t think the A&E people would know who I was if they saw me. That’s not being rude to them; just stating a fact. We are physically a long way apart and never come into contact.

Amazing how this job varies round the world.

2 October 2015 (Friday) - HCPC "In Focus" Magazine

The HCPC “In Focus” e-magazine arrive by email today. I don’t want to sound cynical, but it started with the new chair writing a lot of words to not actually say very much.

There was then a reminder about renewals; biomedical scientists are up for renewal. I have renewed. There was also guidance for the unlucky 2.5% that are picked to have their CPD efforts reviewed. For all that I actually do CPD and make the effort to be seen to be doing so (hence this blog) I’m glad I wasn’t picked.

The article on health and disability being a barrier to becoming a health care professional was interesting, but whenever I read that sort of thing I can’t help but wonder if anyone has an axe to grind; I’ve met so many banging these drums before; each one with an “agenda”.

There were a couple of articles about consultation for revisions to documents. I find these dry documents rather dull; consultations about them even more so… (sorry)

And the magazine ended with a list of upcoming events for employers, planned CPD presentations, and a list of council meetings.

I must admit I was glad to see they seem to have dropped the list of upcoming disciplinary hearings….

1 October 2015 (Thursday) - UKAS Standards

The Boss circulated the standards under which the lab will be inspected over the next few weeks.

Now I know it’s not my place to have an opinion, but what is a reflective journal for if not to reflect…. Over the last twenty years labs have done their level best, then once every five years they have an epic herculean effort to achieve accreditation standard. Everyone knows this is not maintainable in the long run, and in five years time they knacker themselves again for when the inspector calls.

Surely it would make sense to have standards which reflect on how the actual job is done, not on in which colour ink a trivial piece of paper is printed, and having set achievable standards then have unannounced inspections?

30 September 2015 (Wednesday) - NBS Communique

September’s communication to hospitals from NHS Blood and Transplant came out today.

The first two items: addition of HbS to the Electronic Despatch Note  and changes to Adverse Incident Reporting were rather dull

The “For Information” seemed more relevant to me, covering the roll-out of pooled platelets in additive and plasma, the Electronic Requesting & Reporting for Blood Transfusion, Revised BCSH Guidelines on Group A Plasma and LIMS functionality and the British Committee for Standards in Haematology Guidelines on the Identification and Management of Pre-Operative Anaemia.
Mind you the NBTC/NHSBT National Patient Blood Management Survey - October 2015 and the RCI Quarterly Update were rather dry

I had high hopes for the bit about Training & Education Events and Courses, but (usually) the courses are rather impractical. This time none were listed Which is a shame

22 September 2015 (Tuesday) - Another One

Following on from yesterday here’s another on-line resource

21 September 2015 (Monday) - A New Journal

A colleague told me about bloodjournal – there’s a lot of interesting stuff there. I shall have a look-see when time allows. If nothing else it will be something to do if the early hours of the night shifts are dull.
An example of the sort of thing is here:


20 September 2015 (Sunday) - Mott Cells

This picture was posted on the New Medical Laboratory Scientist Facebook page

It’s a Mott cell; a plasma cell with plentiful vacuoles. Don’t see them very often…

10 September 2015 (Thursday) - A Word of Thanks

An email received after a little episode in the blood bank:

Dear Dave  

Yesterday I received a compliment from Dr –X- with regard to the support that they had received in theatre from the laboratory team. The patient underwent an open AAA 4 units. He was impressed with the speed of response to the bleep and the provision of components.  He felt that the prompt provision of components made a significant difference to the patient’s outcome. The patient has come through the surgery and is starting his recovery on ITU. Well done to all involved.

Kind regards

This is what it is all about, isn’t it?