At this time when Influenza prevalence is not widespread in the community, please order “Influenza A/B PCR” [LAB3255] when testing is needed. This applies to patients at all Grand Rapids and regional hospitals, and also system wide ambulatory patients.
Clinical guidelines no longer recommend serologic testing as a method for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Rather than IgG serology testing, other non-invasive testing methods such as H. pylori stool antigen and urea breath tests may be used to both diagnose and monitor response to therapy for H. pylori infection. In anticipation of an increase in stool antigen testing, currently a reference lab send-out test, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) will be implementing this test as of October 29, 2018. By offering this test in-house, results will typically be available one day faster than present state.
Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is not validated to perform Chlamydia and Gonococcus testing on pediatric patients under the age of 14 years old. Testing for these patients must be sent to a reference laboratory. Please order a Reference Miscellaneous Test (#LAB848) and indicate complete test name when ordering.
Effective immediately, the anion gap reference interval will be changed from 4-15 mmol/L to 9-18 mmol/L to reflect the system-wide standardization of electrolyte testing.
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.
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.
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.
There has been a minor change to the influenza testing methods performed by the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) to improve the accuracy and timeliness of patient results, while simplifying the ordering process for providers. In past years during respiratory illness season, the lab performed influenza rapid antigen testing due to its low cost and rapid turnaround time, with negative specimens reflexed to PCR for confirmatory testing. Approximately 85% of specimens tested by a rapid antigen method typically reflexed, with those patients charged for performing both tests.