28 November 2020 (Saturday) - Hit Counter

I’ve had a little fiddle about with the layout of this blog. At the very bottom right of the screen I’ve added a hit counter (you will have to scroll down quite a way to see it).

As I type this entry the blog has been visited over four hundred times in the last week.

During that time I (effectively) blagged an IBMS JBL exercise, saw some platelet clumps, did (seemingly) badly at a digital morphology exercise, did well at a simulated blood transfusion exercise and got two NEQAS exercises right. And in that time I also read all sorts of stuff from the nice people at Lablogatory, the American Society of Hematology, Oncology Central and Laboratory News (to list just a few) that weren’t relevant enough to warrant a mention. 

I’d be intrigued to know how much CPD other biomedical scientists have done n the same time period. I suspect I don’t do any more (or less) than anyone else; I just take a few minutes to write it down. Mainly because I live in terror of being called up for audit.
I never set out to make this blog “popular”, but it certainly seems to have developed a following. I’d just like to take this opportunity to say to all my followers that I do hope that you find this in some way useful. And do feel free to comment on any of the posts on here – that would count as CPD for you…

28 November 2020 (Saturday) - IBMS Journal Based Learning


Yesterday I saw that a colleague was doing an IBMS Journal based learning exercise. I’ve always been sceptical about these in the past, but I thought I’d have a go at one to see if my scepticism was still justified.
I think it is.

I subscribe to a *lot* of mailing lists and I get a *lot* of journals sent to me. I mention many of them on here. I don’t read every word of every one of them, but I skim the abstracts, and something sticks.

With the IBMS journal-based learning excercise I was presented with the title of an article and twenty “true or false” questions about it.

For each question I just searched the article for the salient phrase to determine the veracity. Copy and paste and control-F did the hard work, and I scored full marks without actually learning very much.

But it is the IBMS who will assess the validity of my CPD, so perhaps I had better start doing a few more of these…

26 November 2020 (Thursday) - Still Sulking

 I’m still bitter about the digital morphology exercise I ranted about a couple of days ago – I again tried to access the CPD certificate to list my side of the story. Again the website wasn’t having it, but I did find this link (click here)

Whilst there is nothing new, a refresher is always useful…

26 November 2020 (Thursday) - Platelet Clumps

Here’s something I saw down my microscope today. Falsely reduced platelet counts due to platelet clumping aren’t something  new. Here’s a case study from the nice people at Lablogatory about the matter.

  Here’s a possible explanation for what is going on.  

Platelet clumping isn’t exclusive to humans - other mammals have it too as the vets will agree.

So – what do we do  -  perform the platelet count on a citrated (different anticoagulant) sample…Interestingly it has been my (admittedly anecdotal) experience that in a not insignificant amount of cases this doesn’t actually change the numerical result and that clumps can be seen in the citrated blood film. I can’t seem to find much literature about that though…

24 November 2020 (Wednesday) - Not Happy


I’m not happy.
I got the result of NEQAS DM 2005 DF today. When I looked at it some time ago I noted:

Red cells

 White cells  
Blast cells with auer rods


 This bears no relation to what the software says I saw. I suppose having the software crashing half-way through probably didn’t help. I’m doubly frustrated in that the CPD certificate generator won’t let me add any reflective comment…