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Blood Bank

5-Pack Platelet Update

Effective immediately, Michigan Blood no longer provides 5-pack platelets and Spectrum Health Blood Bank has changed nomenclature for platelet units when they are ordered. In the past, platelets were ordered as a 5-pack which came from 5 separate donors and had a volume of 250 mL. Current process is one single unit of pheresed platelets which comes from a single donor. The volume is 250 mL, an equivalent volume as a 5-pack of pooled random donor platelets. The bonus is that there are now fewer donor exposures when transfusing a unit of platelets. The 5:5:1 ratio still applies for MTPs (massive transfusions).

Questions may be directed to the Blood Bank using the “Contact Us” link above.

Referral/Sendouts, Toxicology

Toxicology Testing Updates – May 2018

As of May 8, 2018, the following tests are no longer performed by Spectrum Health Laboratory. These tests are now available through Mayo Medical Laboratories as a send out. Please note that the specimen collection for these tests may have changed. Please check the Laboratory Catalog for collection information.

Discontinued Test Code Discontinue Test Name Replacement Code Replacement Name
LAB752 Clomipramine Level LAB1230481 Clomipramine, Serum
LAB683 Ethosuximide Level LAB1230480 Ethosuximide, Serum

Questions may be directed to the Toxicology Department using the “Contact Us” link above.

Microbiology, Test Utilization

Influenza Epidemic Testing Recommendations 2018

Influenza is currently widespread throughout the nation at epidemic proportions. During influenza epidemics, clinical assessment predicts the presence of influenza infection virtually as well as laboratory testing. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to perform viral testing on ambulatory patients who present with illness consistent with influenza before beginning antiviral treatment. Antiviral treatment for Influenza should be started as soon as possible to have a beneficial effect.

Shortages of supplies and medications frequently occur during Influenza epidemics. However, diagnosis of specific viral respiratory infection remains important for hospitalized patients.

Please follow the current recommendations:

  • Limit availability of viral transport media at ambulatory sites.
  • Emergency departments are to limit viral respiratory testing to patients expected to be admitted.
  • Do not perform testing for test of cure.

Thank you for your support during this time. Please direct any questions to Laboratory Services via the “contact us” link above.

Chemistry, Compliance & Safety, General Information

RESOLVED: Delay in TB Screen (QuantiFERON Gold) Results

As of 1/12/2018, the analyzer has been repaired and all specimens have been resulted.

The Dynex DS2 analyzer in the Chemistry department at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is currently down until Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Results for TB Screen (QuantiFERON Gold) on tests collected since December 21, 2017 will be delayed. Specimens are stable for 27 days, so the patient will not need to be recollected. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have further questions, please contact the Laboratory Call Center or use the “contact us” link above. This post will be updated when the analyzer is serviced.

Immunochemistry, Test Utilization

Test Utilization: Cardiolipin Antibody Testing

Listed below are the Cardiolipin Antibody tests available in the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) catalog. Please review the tests and the recommended test utilities.

Cardiolipin IgA testing should not be ordered unless the patient is negative for IgM and IgG. It should be restricted to very specific clinical scenarios for the evaluation of patients with suspected APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome). Cardiolipin IgA requests will be reviewed for presence or absence of IgM/IgG testing.

Questions may be directed to Dr. David Alter by using the contact us link above.