Readers Respond

April 1, 2002
Letters to the Editor

Evaluating lead reference intervals

I am writing in response to Leon Saryans letter to the editor regarding reference intervals for lead. There are two additional things I think are important when evaluating the reference range for lead. First, the range is not calculated. Rather, it is determined by what is considered safe. The actual calculated reference range would have an upper limit of much less than 10
g/dL in most populations. The second is the importance of seasonal variation in interpreting lead results. While found in very few textbooks, there is ample evidence that lead values are higher in the summer as compared to the winter. For example, a variation of 2
g/dL would not be unexpected. For this reason, lead has been called a summer disease. Dr. Saryan suggests any child who has a blood lead over 9
g/dL should have a repeat analysis to rule out specimen contamination. This is a good idea, however, if the result is borderline high and obtained in the late spring to early fall. It is also a good idea to have the analysis repeated several months later by the same lab. For example, a child could easily have a lead result of 10.2
g/dL in the summer and 8.7 g/dL in the winter. The real question to be answered is which result takes priority?
Nathan H. Johnson, M.S.,

Environmental Toxicology doctoral student
Mississippi State University
Starkville, MS
School offers medical technologist refresher courseWhile reading the February issue of
MLO, I came upon the question of a reader asking if there were any refresher programs for Medical Technologists. Dr. Daniel Baer answered that he could not find any organization which provided such a service. I am writing to let you know that here in Nebraska, our medical technology school does offer such a program. 
Currently, at our hospital here in North Platte, NE, we have a student who is completing the refresher program. Below is contact information for the program: University of Nebraska Medical
Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Program Director: 
Phyllis Muellenberg, MA, MT(ASCP)
e-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (402) 559-7628
Assistant Program Director/Education Coordinator: 
Linda Fell, MS, MT(ASCP)SM
e-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (402) 559-7739
I hope this information will be of service to readers who want to get back into the wonderful profession of medical technology. Erin Sean Pelland

Chemistry Supervisor
Great Plains Regional Medical Center
North Platte, NE 
Good words from our readersWhile munching onan apple,here at my desk, I read your letter [from the editor]. It was very well written, andstruck just the right tone on all the issues you covered. We are located in South Jersey, 90 miles from ground zero, and the pain has not lessened. Ive been managing labs for 35 years and have always valued
MLO. Good luck to you and your staff in the new job.
Christine K.
Torello, MS, MT(ASCP)

Laboratory Administrative Director
South Jersey Hospital System
Vineland, NJ
I start MLO right at the beginning with From the editor. I love the new layout. Love The Observatory. Enjoy Tips from the clinical experts as it keeps me in touch with the lab, but Management Q&A is my favorite. Keep up the great work. You can be assured that I will keep reading!Constance A.

Director, Training and Staff Development
Virginia Blood Services
Richmond, VA
The first thing I want to say is thank you!! For more than 30 years I have had the pleasure of receiving and reading Medical Laboratory Observer. During that time we have had many editors and managing editors. In my estimation the editors have done an extraordinary and commendable job. I am an old medical technologist, starting in the
U.S. Army in 1948. Other than time spent in academia, I have spent my entire life in the medical laboratory. I have seen almost everything happen in the laboratory world that could happen, happen. Some good for the profession, and some not so good let me close by saying keep up the good work again, thank you!
Harry A. Taylor, Ph.D., AACP
Clinical Pathology
Cortland, Ohio
I want to tell you how GREAT the magazine looks lately. The cover designs really sizzle! And the interior design is so eye-pleasing. It just looks so fresh and vibrant, cover to cover. You and your staff are doing an excellent job. Please pass along my compliments. Im proud to be associated with the magazine.Dennis J. Ernst,

Director, Center for Phlebotomy Education
Ramsey, IN
(Dennis Ernst is a member of MLOs Editorial Advisory Board.)©
2002 Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.