Biotin is widely used in immunoassay type laboratory methods over a wide range of instruments at numerous clinical laboratories throughout the world (including Spectrum Health).
With the expansion of biotin – also known as vitamin B7 – supplementation and treatments (“over the counter” and prescription, respectively); an associated interference with many clinical laboratory tests has been identified, confirmed and documented. Unfortunately, magnitude and type (falsely increased/decreased) of interference varies with dose and assay; however, it has been confirmed that as dose increases so does the magnitude of the response. In late November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a safety alert warning that biotin can interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results.
Effective immediately, Oxidative Burst by Flow Cytometry (#LAB2111414) will no longer require submission of the biological mother’s sample. An adult control specimen will still be required along with the patient’s specimen. For more information on specimen collection, please visit the Laboratory Catalog.
Questions may be directed to the Flow Cytometry Laboratory using the “Contact Us” link above.
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.
The treatment of non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma has become more successful due to targeted treatments based on the molecular profile of a patient’s particular tumor. The Lung Cancer Mutation Analysis panel is now available for clinical testing at the Spectrum Health Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL).
When testing for Clostridium difficile Toxin (“C-diff”), only liquid/loose (i.e. watery) stools should be sent for testing. Any formed or soft stools will be immediately rejected and testing will be canceled.
Effective June 1, 2016, Malaria testing will be updated. Recommended first line testing for suspected malaria is called Malaria Rapid Screen which is a combination of a rapid BinaxNow test in Hematology and a blood smear review in Microbiology. The BinaxNow test has a reported sensitivity of 97.7% and specificity of 94.2% for detection of P. falciparum species if a patient has a parasitemia level of over 5000 parasites/uL; sensitivity is lower for other malaria species. The BinaxNow test is not reported to cross react with babesia species. BinaxNow testing will be available for all shifts in Hematology at the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory. The specimen requirements are unchanged from previous malaria testing. Previous test “Malaria Smear for Protozoa” will be discontinued.
All specimens submitted to Spectrum Health Laboratory for testing must be appropriately labeled to assure positive identification and optimum integrity of specimens. In accordance with standards issued by The Joint Commission, at least 2 patient identifiers should be used when providing care or treatment of services (National Patient Safety Goal, NSPG.01.01.01). If 2 patient identifiers are not used on the specimen, the specimen will be rejected, the order will be cancelled and a request for recollection will be made. This includes Gyn Cytology (i.e. Pap) specimens.
What are acceptable Patient Identifiers?
- Patient Full Legal Name
- Date of Birth
- Spectrum Health Medical Record Number (MRN)
Follow these steps for loading your outdoor lockbox during the summer months to prevent overheating of refrigerated and ambient specimens:
1. Place a frozen cool pack in the bottom of the lockbox.
2. Layer 3 – 4 paper towels over the cool pack for insulation.
3. Place refrigerated temperature specimens on top of the paper towels.
4. Layer 3 – 4 paper towels over the refrigerated specimens for insulation.
5. Place ambient temperature specimens on top of the paper towels.
Frozen specimen should not be left in the lockbox for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.
Spectrum Health Laboratory is committed to specimen integrity. The specimen transport integrity guide is available in the online test catalog. If you have further questions please contact Laboratory Services at 616.774.5116.