19 July 2016 (Sunday) - e-learning

I completed my e-learning module on safe transfusion practice this evening. Whilst it wasn’t actually anything new, a reminder is always useful. It never hurts to step back and re-visit what we are doing.

I spent a little while trying to see when the other modules need to be revisited. It would be useful to know rather than just having the email to tell me that it has expired…

18 June 2016 (Saturday) - Rh G

I found this link today via Facebook (of all places). The Blood Bank Guy gave a very informative article about the G-antigen. I found it rather useful; I can remember a case of this a while ago… I could not remember any of the details. It was a rather good refresher.

At the risk of blatantly plagiarising here are the salient points
  • G is an antigen present whenever D and/or C is present
  • Anti-G will react against D+ RBCs, C + RBCs, and D+C+ RBCs
  • Anti-G is pretty easy to manage in most transfusion patients: Almost all D-negative RBCs will be compatible
  • Identifying anti-G is most important for prenatal patients and will make all the difference in getting such a patient the RhIg they need, or saving them from an RhIg dose if not needed
  • Teasing out a patient’s antibody specificity is time-consuming, but is valuable for ensuring RhIg is used when indicated, and not unnecessarily

16 June 2016 (Thursday) - Euro 2016 ?

I was rather amazed/surprised/shocked… I can’t really describe what I felt when I got an email from the boss. It was all about the Euro 2016 survival guide. With absolutely no interest in football whatsoever I just ignored it. Other colleagues who are into football leapt on to it, and on opening it and finding it wasn’t about football they deleted it whilst grumbling about having been tricked into wasting their time.
The link was actually all about men’s health. It compared the chances of contracting various illnesses with the chances of various teams winning the current Euro 20156 football competition, and then had some advice for a healthy lifestyle.

It is a shame that a rather useful source of information relevant to me and many other men has effectively missed its target audience. I wonder how many other potentially useful sources of information I have mistakenly dismissed out of hand…

14 June 2016 (Tuesday) - NEQAS

We got the results of the most recent blood group serology NEQAS back today; I’d done it, I’d got it right.

I was pleased about that…

14 June 2016 (Tuesday) - How Bizarre

I received a phone call today. A lady asked if she could be told the blood group of her husband who had died four years ago.
Before I could say anything she launched into the story of how her husband had two daughters from a previous marriage, but those daughters had serious doubts as to whether the dead chap was actually their father. The daughters were trying to secure the blood groups of this dead chap, the putative father (also deceased) and their mother (also deceased). Apparently the daughters have “done research” and can work out true parentage “by a process of elimination”.

I told the lady that we were not allowed to give out results to patients; she seemed quite happy with this reply.
I wonder if the daughters will proceed with their investigations…. If so I hope someone else takes the phone call…

13 June 2016 (Monday) - Essential Haematology

This is handy – a classic text book in e-format which is free. I paid a small fortune for an earlier version of this book. I wonder if it is supposed to be quite so freely available?

I’ll make the most of it in the meantime…

12 June 2016 (Sunday) - iHaematology dot com

I found a website which might be useful. Basically it is someone’s study notes which they have typed up. I suspect this website won’t be updated so it probably won’t stand the test of time, but for the time being it may well be a useful resource.
They’ve also got a Facebook page; it doesn’t seem to be well used though…

10 June 2016 (Friday) - Transfusion Evidence Library

I had an email telling me of stuff matching the criteria I set in my transfusion evidence library profile
See all 7084 publications matching your preferences.
Click on any of the links below to view the article in the Transfusion Evidence Library database. Enjoy your update!

Clinical Commentaries

The email said “You can update your preferences, or unsubscribe from this service, on your profile page”. I wonder if I mightn’t cut down on the amount of references I get – I can’t read the lot…

9 June 2016 (Thursday) - AML

This was all over the news today. It turns out that what we have for years called AML is in fact (at least) eleven different conditions. When I first studied the condition I learned about the FAB classification, but the lecturers at the time didn’t seem convinced on the matter.

Mind you back in the day we used to stain bone marrow smears with various stains. Diagnosis was in the realms of a district general hospitals. Nowadays the CD typing isn’t… Mind you my lab has flow cytometry…

7 June 2016 (Tuesday ) - A Phone App

Here’s a sign of the times. A phone app which allows you to discover medical cases from every specialty. Some of its features include:

  • View rare conditions, innovative treatments, and teaching cases from around the world
  • Page more than 1 million healthcare professionals for instant feedback
  • Communicate with colleagues using HIPAA-compliant direct messaging (whatever that is)
Well, I suppose it is free. But I’ve enough stuff on my phone already…

4 June 2016 (Saturday) - Computer Assistance

The thrust of the argument is that bearing in mind patients may well be seen in various hospitals and clinics, for many patients there are effectively no comprehensively detailed medical notes. And for those patients who do have comprehensively detailed medical notes, most doctors don’t have time to read them.

The author advocates effectively a form of SmartNote; computer-assisted medical notes which can scan through and spot the salient points.
He stops short of pointing out that it is a very short step between a computer picking through the notes to having a computer do all the stuff that medics do today.

Is this *really* the future? I suppose that (if nothing else) it might counteract the ambulance-chasing sue-a-medic brigade. But is this really a good idea? I’m not sure…

2 June 2016 (Thursday) - NHSBT Newsletter

The latest communication to hospitals from NHS Blood and Transplant arrived by email today; it is on-line at http://hospital.blood.co.uk/media/28342/the-update-june-2016.pdf

As always its contents came in three sections

For Action 
1.1 Ordering patient information leaflets and educational resources order details
1.2  Standing orders in OBOS
1.3 Last chance for testing haemoglobinopathy samples at no extra cost 

For Information 
2.1 New British Society for Haematology Guidelines
2.2 Blood Stocks Management Scheme Educational Roadshows  

For Training 
3.1 Annual SHOT Symposium 2016 Registration Now Open
3.2 Training & Education Events and Courses  

It made for interesting reading. I was particularly intrigued by the need for Ro blood (cDe). Surely rr (cde) does the same thing and is more readily available?

1 June 2016 (Wednessday) - UKAS Newsletter

Back in the day I used to think I was rather clued up on the CPA regulations. I found myself “out of it” for a couple of years; whist I was gone CPA was taken over by UKAS.
I’m still not entirely up to speed on UKAS, but they do send out email updates on what they are up to, and what is current. One arrived today.

There has been an update to the several UKAS Publication(s):

And a full list of UKAS publications is available from the UKAS website.  Admittedly not bedtime reading, but something to peruse on a dull night shift perhaps?