Letters to the editor

Feb. 1, 2011
Readers Respond

Tips on coag draws

In Dr. Karon's “Tips” (November 2010, p. 32) regarding collection methods for coagulation testing, Dennis J. Ernst, MT(ASCP), mentions using a winged device and a tube holder. While that is fine in general, we have noted if one uses that method and draws the coag tube first, there is a good chance of underfilling the tube due to the air in the tubing “using up” part of the vacuum in the evacuated tube.

 —David Schlosser, CLS(ASCP)CM
St Joseph Hospital
Eureka, CA

Dennis Ernst's reply: The reader is correct. That is why the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute recommends drawing a discard tube when using a butterfly set and the coag tube is the first tube. The tube need not be filled, but enough blood should be drawn into the discard tube to “prime” the tubing of the butterfly set. The discard tube can be another coag tube or a tube with no additive.

—Dennis J. Ernst, MT(ASCP), Director
Center for Phlebotomy Education
Corydon, IN

Oops! We goofed!

In “Tips” of November 2010 (p. 32), neonatal hyperbilirubinemia test methods for G6PD mentions that 50 mL and 10 mL of blood are required. I would not subject a neonate to such “blood letting.” Thank you.

—L. David Mirkin, MD, F(CAP), F(AAP), F(ASCP), F(RSM)
Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics
Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine
Director of Pathology and Clinical Laboratory
The Children's Medical Center
Dayton, OH

Editor's note: We thank Dr. Minkin for alerting us of the error. The corrected text is: “Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia test methods for G6PD mentions that 5 mL (not 50 mL) and 10 mL of blood are required.”

Kudos and Cryptococcus gatti, et al

Just a note to give you some kudos on your nice “From the editor” note (p. 4) in the November 2010 MLO.  Thanks for educating the readership on some very important antibiotic- and antimicrobial-testing information from a worldwide perspective. 

In the ID/clinical microbiology/immunology world, we are experiencing an avalanche of new information, new testing modalities, and new concerns over the past few years which make it very difficult for even those of us who do it on a daily basis to keep current; so it makes it even more difficult for others to keep up (e.g., H1N1, Clostridium difficile, MRSA, and other multidrug resistant organisms, Cryptococcus gatti, Metapneumovirus, new antibiotic breakpoints for carbapenems, and so on). 

Therefore, to see it emphasized from the editor is highly gratifying and puts an increased emphasis for the reader to say, “Hmmmm, maybe I should pay more attention to all this.” 

So, thanks, and congratulations on not only your article but all of the useful information we get from MLO on a regular basis. 

—Allan L. Truant, PhD
Director, Clinical Microbiology,
Immunology, and Virology Labs;
and Professor of Pathology
and Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology, and
Immunology, and Internal Medicine;
Editor, Manual of Commercial Methods
in Clinical Microbiology
Temple University Hospital
and School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA

Editor's note: We thank Dr. Truant for his very kind compliment, and we intend to continue providing the kind of material in MLO that informs, entertains, and motivates its readers — guided by the their suggested topics.

Greetings from Montana!!

As I look back over the last 42 years of my career as an MT(ASCP), MLO has always been there … The information I have gleaned through the years as I have devoured your magazine from cover to cover has been invaluable to my career. I have seen a number of other lab publications come and go, but MLO has clearly stood the test of time, and has always been head and shoulders above every other laboratory publication.

I sometimes reflect on those early MLO publications with giants like Raymond Gambino, MD, and two other authors: William Umiker and Ed Roseman … their articles … would be timely reading, even today, if they were republished in MLO, especially regarding personnel relations.

The first article I read when receive MLO is your column “From the editor.” I enjoy your down-home, folksy style that always has something significant to communicate. I take issue with the reader being offended by your comment, “I just hope I do  not learn one day that I am actually a dog.” I do not know you personally; but I  have seen your picture, and you are no dog. Keep up the excellent publication.

—Bob Gallagher, MT(ASCP)
Lab Supervisor
Community Hospital of Anaconda
Anaconda, MT

Editor's note: Many of MLO's readers, have been supportive of the publication since 1969. Dr. Gambino and others who made MLO's reputation over the years are also always pleased to hear that long-time readers still enjoy perusing its pages and sharing their MLO memories.