QuidelOrtho Science Bytes

A monthly podcast for lab professionals covering current advancements in science and technology that can impact better patient care.

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. QuidelOrtho 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.

Identifying Lesion-Causing Viral Pathogens

Episode #39

The World Health Organization estimates 67% of people under age 50 globally have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection, the main cause of oral herpes, and 13% of those age 15–49 worldwide have herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, the main cause of genital herpes.

In this podcast episode, Lori Henderson, the Senior Global Product Manager at QuidelOrtho, talks about the complexities in diagnosing herpes simplex virus, the most common viral causes of cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions, as well as innovations in molecular diagnostics that play a critical role in managing HSV.

Hyperhemolysis Syndrome in the Patient With Sickle Cell Disease

Episode #38

Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients are at risk of developing multiple complications from transfusions, including alloimmunization to red blood cell antigens, delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions and hyperhemolysis syndrome (HHS). While HHS is a rare complication of repeat blood transfusions in patients with SCD, clinicians and the laboratory have important roles in its detection and management.

In this podcast, Wally R. Smith, MD, the inaugural Florence Neal Cooper Smith Professor of Sickle Cell Disease at Virginia Commonwealth University shares insights to screening for and managing HHS.

Sigma Metrics and the Value of Real World Evidence

Episode #37

Six Sigma is a popular way to measure quality. Sigma metrics have been adapted for the clinical laboratory by incorporating observed accuracy, precision and total error allowed (TEa). In vitro diagnostic (IVD) manufacturers have used Six Sigma to assess the quality of their assays using a small number of well-controlled systems to generate the data. QuidelOrtho has developed a novel approach to assess laboratory Sigma metrics for a broad range of assays using data from over 1,300 Vitros® instruments used in clinical labs.

In this podcast, Johanna Miller, data scientist at QuidelOrtho, discusses the value of using real-world data to perform Sigma metric studies and how a lab can use this information.

The Surprising Benefits of Becoming a Repeat Blood Donor

Episode #36

Each year 4.5 million lives are saved by blood transfusions thanks to blood donations. More than 118 million units of blood are donated worldwide every year but less than 10% of people who can donate blood will give.

These repeat blood donors enjoy benefits of their own while providing their lifesaving gift. Donating blood burns 650 calories, reduces stress, provides an emotional lift and has physiological benefits.

In this podcast, Dr. Mark A. Levine shares the critical importance of blood donation and how repeat donors enjoy both emotional and physical health benefits.

A Comprehensive Discussion of Reference Intervals

Episode #35

Reference intervals (RIs) are a fundamental decision support tool used by clinicians and lab professionals to interpret laboratory reports and assess an individual’s health status. The establishment of reference intervals, however, can be challenging due to many physiological factors that influence their values and heterogeneities that inherently exist in populations.

In this podcast, Dr. Lindy Crimmins will provide a comprehensive explanation of the influencing factors and evolving methodology of RIs from how they are established to how they are advancing.

Managing Febrile Transfusion Reactions

Episode #34

Transfusion reactions are adverse events associated with the transfusion of whole blood or one of its components. They range in severity from minor to life-threatening and can occur during a transfusion, termed acute transfusion reactions, or days to weeks later, termed delayed transfusion reactions. Transfusion reactions may be difficult to diagnose as they can present with non-specific, often overlapping symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms include fever, chills, urticaria, and itching. Some symptoms may resolve with little or no treatment. However, respiratory distress, high fever, hypotension, and hemoglobinuria may indicate a more serious reaction. All cases of suspected reactions should prompt immediate discontinuation of the transfusion and notification of the blood bank and treating clinician.

In this podcast episode, you will learn the evaluation and management of transfusion reactions and highlights the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance outcomes for affected patients.

Partial D Phenotype and Hemolytic Disease in Babies

Episode #33

Alloimmune hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) may occur when a pregnant woman has an antibody against an antigen on the fetal red cells inherited from the father. Many antibodies to red blood cell antigens can cause HDFN, including those from the ABO, Rh, and other blood group systems. Women can develop antibodies either through previous pregnancy or transfusion.

In this podcast episode, we will discuss the types of HDFN, the role that partial D groups, and the presence of anti-D as it relates to its prevalence, prognosis, and management.

The Role of IVD To Detect Thyroid Disorders and Ensure Proper Treatment

Episode #32

According to the American Thyroid Association, as many as 60 percent of those with a thyroid disorder are unaware of their condition, and women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to develop thyroid disease. If left untreated, thyroid dysfunction increases an individual’s risk for other serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, infertility and osteoporosis.

Laboratory testing plays an important role to help diagnose and monitor thyroid disease states.

How Are Blood Groups Discovered?

Episode #31

The fascinating history of the discovery of blood groups goes back to 1900 with the breakthrough that came when Dr. Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian scientist, discovered three human blood groups. These were the A, B, and O blood groups. Two students who worked with Karl Landsteiner discovered the fourth human blood group, the AB. These two were A. van Decastello and A. Sturli. These four blood groups together are what we today know as the ABO blood group system. In this podcast episode with Dr. Jill Storry, you will learn the fascinating journey behind discovering blood groups and stay up to date on the latest blood groups that have been discovered. 

The Evolving Cybersecurity Environment in Laboratories

Episode #30

The cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve. Health Care Companies Are the #1 Target for Cyberattacks and Data Breaches. The pace of release of cybersecurity guidance and regulations for medical devices across the globe has been accelerating. Globally, some regulatory bodies have restricted their guidance to premarket concerns, and others have provided guidelines to include post-market considerations. One of the key tenants of all post-market cybersecurity guidance and regulations is the manufacturer’s responsibility to evaluate and maintain their product cybersecurity continually. This additional level of scrutiny and regulations only increases the need to act now. To prepare for and combat these cyberattacks, health care companies must make the necessary investments in people, processes and technology. A reactive approach to cybersecurity is no longer feasible. It’s time to anticipate and prevent these attacks before they even arrive. Learn in this episode how new, predictive technologies analyze past threats to identify future threats. Ideally, this results in the detection of potentially harmful files or behaviors before an attack is successful..

Diagnostic Testing for Type I/II Diabetes and Associated Complications

Episode #29

World Diabetes Day takes place each year in the month of November, created to raise awareness about the disease. 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.

Resolving Antibodies to High-Prevalence Antigens

Episode #28

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.

Understanding sepsis, its detection and treatment strategies

Episode #27

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.

Key Learnings on Rare Blood Programs

Episode #26

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.

The Need for Safe and Reliable Blood Donations for the Sickle Cell Disease Population

Episode #25

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.

Laboratory Strategies for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatitis C Virus Infection

Episode #24

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.

Laboratory Investigations for Maternal Health Testing

Episode #23

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.

Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease

Episode #22

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.

Heart Failure and the role of NT-proBNP

Episode #21

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.

Role of the Donation Screening Lab

Episode #20

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.

Ensure safety with a Quality Certificate Program

Episode #19

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.

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

Episode #18

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.

Key learnings from COVID-19 for the Labs with Dr. Arturo Casadevall

Episode #17

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.

Automation is Possible for All Laboratories

Episode #16

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. 

How to manage Partial D in donors and patients

Episode #15

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. 

Are Process Excellence and Lean the same thing?

Episode #14

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. 

Overcoming the Challenges of Blood and Plasma Supply with Dr. Pampee Young

Episode #13

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. 

Key facts about antibody titers in transfusion medicine that you can’t miss!

Episode #12

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. 

Your Lab Journey with the Rh System and Weak D

Episode #11

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

The Impact of Innovation in the Health Care System

Episode #10

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. 

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

Episode #09

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. 

Safety measures for blood products for Sars-CoV-2

Episode #08

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. 

Is Sars-Cov-2 transmitted by blood transfusion?

Episode #07

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. 

The importance of extended antigen typing in Transfusion Medicine

Episode #06

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 

Do antibodies to COVID-19 disappear?

Episode #05

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. 

Do antibodies really provide immunity against COVID-19?

Episode #04

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

The Association Between Blood Type and COVID-19

Episode #03

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. 

Why Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19?

Episode #02

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.

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

Episode #01

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