Today's healthcare marketplace is more complex than ever. Labs today are faced with increasing regulatory and quality demands coupled with a shortage of skilled labor. Ortho is committed to helping labs meet these challenges head-on. Join us every month as we discuss the complex questions labs are facing every day.

Episode #28: Resolving Antibodies to High-Prevalence Antigens

High-prevalence antigens occur in greater than 99% of the population. Antibodies to high-prevalence antigens are rare and may be difficult to identify due to the lack of antigen-negative panel cells for these antigens. Examples of antibodies to high-prevalence antigens are: anti-k, anti-Kpb, anti-Jsb, and anti-Lub among many others There is a need to proper identify these antibodies before transfusion to differentiate clinically significant antibodies, that could cause hemolytic transfusion reactions or hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn from those with little or no clinical relevance. Their specific identification is often difficult, labor-intensive, and time-consuming and it may be difficult to find antigen-negative compatible blood for the patient in need of a transfusion Learn in this episode clues to recognize if an antibody to a high-prevalence antigen is present and how to apply practices for their identification in the lab and additional recommendations for patient management.

Episode #27: Understanding sepsis, its detection and treatment strategies

Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system responds to an infection and injures its own tissues and organs. It is a medical emergency, requiring early detection and treatment as it can lead to septic shock, multi-organ failure, and death. One in five deaths worldwide is associated with sepsis and 40% of cases are in children under five years of age. Sepsis is the number one cause of death in hospitals, the number one cause of hospital readmissions, and the number one healthcare cost.

Laboratory testing is essential in helping prevent, detect, and treat sepsis to minimize injury to the body and the risk of death.

Episode #26: Key Learnings on Rare Blood Programs

A rare donor program is a collaborative effort of many blood centers and/or hospitals to combine their rare donor resources to supply what they have to patients in need. These centers work to identify rare donors by screening methods and inclusion in database systems.

Learn in this episode what resources are available to the medical community to ensure availability for patients in need of blood and why it is critical to national and international collaboration through joint programs.

Episode #25: The Need for Safe and Reliable Blood Donations for the Sickle Cell Disease Population

In Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients, one of the most critical treatments is a blood transfusion. A blood transfusion is used to provide normal red blood cells to the patient’s body. Red blood cell transfusions help lessen anemia and reduce the blood’s viscosity, allowing it to flow more freely, ease disease symptoms and prevent complications. Alloimmunization is common in patients with SCD and may complicate transfusion therapy. For many patients, a close blood type match is essential and is found in donors of the same race or similar ethnicity.

In this episode, learn why patient phenotyping and prophylactic matching to reduce alloimmunization is recommended for SCD patients and why donor source for blood donations of the same race or similar ethnicity is critical.

Episode #24: Laboratory Strategies for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatitis C Virus Infection

The World Health Organization estimated that during 2019, 58 million people worldwide were living with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) which causes inflammation of the liver. All types of hepatitis can be controlled or prevented. There is a cure for Hepatitis C; however, HCV infection is often undiagnosed because it remains asymptomatic until symptoms appear that are related to serious liver damage, a complication of the infection.

Episode #23: Laboratory Investigations for Maternal Health Testing

Maternal health refers to women’s health during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. Each stage should be a positive experience, ensuring women and their babies reach their full potential for health and well-being. Prenatal care includes screening and diagnostic tests and they can provide valuable information about the baby's health. Understand the risks and benefits. Learn in this episode what are the strategies to minimize the risk of alloimmunization in the maternal population and what are the recommendations for antenatal and post-delivery care testing.

Episode #22: Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease

It is estimated that between 8 and 10% of the global adult population has some form of kidney damage. Early detection of kidney damage is critical. If left undetected, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure which means regular dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant is necessary for survival. In this podcast episode, we will discuss who is at risk for chronic kidney disease, screening strategies, and ways to classify the level of impairment. In addition, we’ll discuss a unifying approach for estimating glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in the United States with the recommendations published by a task force established by the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology.

Episode #21: Heart Failure and the role of NT-proBNP

Heart Failure (HF) is a common disease that affects an estimated global population of over 40 million. It is the most frequent cause of hospitalizations in patients over the age of 65, placing a considerable financial and social burden on patients, healthcare providers, and care providers. Accurate clinical assessment of HF and cost-effective management strategies are critical in improving patient outcomes and reducing the socioeconomic burden of this disease.

Episode #20: Role of the Donation Screening Lab

The need for a sufficient supply of safe blood is constant and globally there is an ongoing need for effective blood programs as they are critical to support patient management. The role of the donor/donation screening lab is fundamental to the protection and maintenance of the donor inventory and supply since it performs the screening of donors prior to collection of a donation to determine if the donor is ‘suitable’ to be able to donate on that occasion with the end goal of providing safe blood products for transfusion.

Episode #19: Ensure safety with a Quality Certificate Program

Learn in this episode from AABB consulting services how commitment to safety and quality is available with the new AABB Quality Certificate Program – Based on AABB’s Fundamental Standards for Blood Collection and Transfusion, the Certificate is an internationally recognized distinction, acknowledging your facility’s commitment to a culture of quality and excellence.

Episode #18: The Role of the Lab in the Prevention and Management of Diabetes: A Physician’s Perspective

Diabetes is a global health threat diabetes with the number of people living with diabetes continuing to rise. Diagnostic testing is one of the major tools to help prevent and manage the disease. In this podcast episode, we will have a conversation with Dr. Ivan Salgo, Head of Medical, Clinical, and Scientific Affairs at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics about the role laboratory testing plays in the prevention and management of diabetes.

Episode #17: Key learnings from COVID-19 for the Labs with Dr. Arturo Casadevall

The COVID-19 pandemic has been already in our lives since late 2019 and the variants surge is rapidly increasing. Is there anything we can learn from the experience? Fast forward to the fall of 2021, what are the recommendations for Hospitals and Laboratories around the world for the current pandemic and future spread of diseases? In this podcast episode, we will have a conversation with Dr. Arturo Casadevall an infectious disease specialist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University about learnings from this pandemic, vaccines, variants, and how antibody testing can play a key role.

Episode #16: Automation is Possible for All Laboratories

With increasing compliance requirements and resource challenges around the world, there is a growing need for the integration of digital platforms to reduce errors, reduce the need for double checks/signoffs, and provide greater process efficiency. There is a need for laboratories to implement workflow tools that automate processes and test rules to improve efficiency. Join our speaker in learning how in an evolving health care industry automation is possible for the laboratory's goals. 

Episode #15: How to manage Partial D in donors and patients 

After the success of our April episode, “Your Lab Journey With the Rh System and Weak D,” we continue the topic. Tune in for a conversation about partial D, the differences, types, and implications it has on transfusion. 

Episode #14: Are Process Excellence and Lean the same thing?

Process Excellence is a proven way to cut costs, raise productivity, and improve service levels. PEx® combines the tools and methodologies of: Six Sigma—measuring and reducing your error and defect rate Lean Thinking—eliminating waste to speed your workflow and deliver better value. Design Excellence—structuring a process from the outset so that it flows efficiently with minimal opportunities for waste or error This podcast will provide the tools to understand the benefit of Process Excellence in your Lab to achieve goals regarding efficiency and performance. 

Episode #13: Overcoming the Challenges of Blood and Plasma Supply with Dr. Pampee Young 

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets, or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. 1 blood donation can potentially save 3 lives and now the conversation is towards convalescent plasma donations as a promising therapy for COVID-19, the journey to support during critical times starts with the donor qualification. In this episode, Dr. Pampee Young will provide background on the needs and challenges of blood banks and donor centers for blood and plasma supply and practices sharing plans to overcome them. 

Episode #12: Key facts about antibody titers in transfusion medicine that you can’t miss! 

During this episode, Dr. Claudia Cohn will provide background on the role of antibody titers for diagnosis and monitoring performed in the transfusion medicine lab and its clinical applications. 

Episode #11: Your Lab Journey with the Rh System and Weak D 

Discover along with Tony Casina the marvelous world of Rh D system’s complexity and why weak D is clinically relevant 

Episode #10: The Impact of Innovation in the Health Care System 

Innovation can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. In this episode we discuss what Innovation means, its importance in the current healthcare ecosystem and how this concept can impact Lab performance. 

Episode #09: The Role of High Throughput Antigen SARS-CoV-2 Testing in a Large, Metropolitan Hospital System

Wondering how a large, metropolitan hospital is dealing with testing for the surging number of COVID-19 cases?  In this episode, Dr. Karen Roush will discuss how her hospital is leveraging a high throughout antigen testing solution to meet the demands of COVID-19 testing. 

Episode #08: Safety measures for blood products for Sars-CoV-2

With more than 100 million COVID-19 cases worldwide, what’s the impact of the virus on our blood supply? What’s the risk of transfusion-transmitted infection? Is COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) safe? Can pathogen reduction technologies (PRT) help? In this episode, Dr. Ray Goodrich answers these hard questions and more. 

Episode #07: Is Sars-Cov-2 transmitted by blood transfusion?

Can Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, be transmitted by blood transfusion? In this episode we will discuss with an Infectious Disease Specialist key points behind the precedent for respiratory viruses, factors to consider in an assessment for a pathogen to cause transfusion transmitted infection, the data available and the recommendations to maintain blood safety. 

Episode #06: The importance of extended antigen typing in Transfusion Medicine

Tony Casina discusses the role of extended antigen typing or phenotyping and how this practice plays a critical role in preventing the development of foreign antibodies in chronically transfused patients 

Episode #05: Do antibodies to COVID-19 disappear?

Listen as Dr Akiko Iwasaki from Yale Medicine discusses COVID-19 antibodies in depth, including the range of immune responses and the role Spike S1 protein may play in controlling the course of the pandemic. 

Episode #04: Do antibodies really provide immunity against COVID-19?

Are serological tests available today reliable enough to guide such critical decisions? In this podcast edition we will explore in detail the answers to those questions based on currently available scientific information 

Episode #03: The Association Between Blood Type and COVID-19

Tony Casina reviews the history of the association between blood type and development of diseases and whether literature answers the question if there are certain blood types associated with COVID-19. 

Episode #02: Why Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19?

Matt Dawson discusses why COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma has been used as a treatment and what are the scientific and clinical basis for its use with Dr. Lily Li.

Episode #01: You, a Blood Donor: Be part of 2000 years in Transfusion Medicine's History

Speaker Tony Casina reviews the history of the association between blood type and development of diseases and whether literature answers the question if there are certain blood types associated with COVID-19