24 April 2021 (Saturday) - BTLP-TACT Excercise

I got an email telling me that I needed to do a BTLP-TACT exercise two days ago… Seriously – I only did one on Tuesday. I had a word with the boss – I don’t want to lose access to the BTLP-TACT simulator.
He assured me that these emails are automated and doing two a month is OK… So I shall stay at doing two a month.

But as I had a few minutes…
I logged into the system and waited for an age to eventually be presented with two cases: 

86154 – a sixty-one year-old chap in A&E requiring group & save and two units of blood for the following day

He grouped as A Rh(D) Negative with positive antibody screen in cells 1 and 2

O requested antibody panels which were positive in cells 1 2 and 3 in the IAT and enzyme panels which corresponded with anti-D (but did not exclude anti-Cw).

I selected two units of A Rh(D) Negative blood for him

14134 a ninety-eight year-old chap in out-patients requiring group and save

He grouped as A Rh(D) Positive with a negative antibody screen

I got the green light… which is always something of a relief.

23 April 2021 (Friday) - ASH Update

The nice people at he American Society of Hematology sent their update today – an update on red blood cell and iron disorders:

First CRISPR Trial for Patients with Severe Sickle Cell Disease to Begin
University of California scientists have received FDA approval to launch an early-phase trial of the first CRISPR/CAS9-based gene therapy for sickle cell disease this summer.
Transplant Improves Health-Related Quality of Life for Patients With SCD and Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia
A systematic review published in Blood Advances evaluated recent longitudinal and cross-sectional data for evidence of the effects of both transplant and gene therapy or gene-editing on health-related QoL outcomes in patients with TDT or SCD.
Scientists Say LentiGlobin Not Linked to Cancer
Preliminary data linking the gene therapy to development of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes have not held up.

22 April 2021 (Thursday) - IBMS Newsletter

The IBMS sent their “Council and Fellows” newsletter today… You can read it by clicking here. I am very conscious that I never seem to have anything positive to say about my own professional body, but the thing seemed very focussed on people. What does this woman have to say? What does this chap think?..
Wouldn’t they be far better off  publishing reviews of the latest developments in medical microbiology, current trends in cervical cytology screening, articles about the latest analyers for use in blood science departments, giving links to their own CPD website…

I can remember once being particularly disillusioned with an edition of the IBMS Gazette and I wrote to the editor outlining my concerns that the magazine didn’t appeal to the membership. He didn’t actually tell me to get knotted…
I can remember (many years ago) going to a national meeting which had incredibly little substance but a lot of meeting up of old chums.

Back in the day we would have regular after-work meetings organised by local IBMS branches. They were interesting and useful.

I am rather worried that either I or my professional body is going in the wrong direction… On reflection I suppose the IBMS is going to go in the direction of those who put in the effort to give it a direction. Perhaps I should stop sitting round griping and do something?

21 April 2021 (Wednesday) - V.I.T.T.

Here’s a rather useful flowchart for reviewing suspected cases of Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia. Many thanks to the ISTH for this…

20 April 2021 (Tuesday) - Conducting A Review


Doing this CPD blog is easy enough. I subscribe to every mailing list known to science, and in odd moments I peruse what they send me and stick it in the CPD folder in my email in-box. When I have a spare hour or so (like today on a dull morning before a night shift) I write up that which has proved useful.
The last time I sat down and wrote things up was twelve days ago. In that time I had accumulated twenty things I’d read in my in-box. This morning I have written up seven of them. The rest really had been of no relevance to me.  

This happens a lot. I read absolutely everything that I get sent,  and for at least half of the things I read I say to myself “so what?” and make no mention here as whatever it was turned out to be utterly irrelevant. 

I’m wasting too much time, so this morning I unsubscribed from the Medscape UK News alerts, the European Society for Medical Oncology, the Bioanalysis Zone and the Cureus Journal of Medical Science.
I need to be somewhat more focussed in what I’m subscribing to. Signing up for absolutely everything and then grumbling about how much time I’ve wasted isn’t working…

20 April 2021 (Tuesday) - BTLP-TACT Excercise

I got a “low engagement” warning from the people at BTLP-TACT so I thought I’d better do an exercise… even though it is less than two weeks since I last did one. I’m averaging two a month – is that too little? I don’t know.


The software presented me with one patient – an eighty-four year old chap in the A& department requiring group & save. The NHS number on the sample was 565 676 9356, and the NHS number on the accompanying request was 548 250 0012 so I rejected the sample and left the simulator.

I got the green light.