October 7, 2011

Acute care testing

With so many new websites appearing every week I find that the 'word by mouth' - personal reference from those you know - is the only way to "stumble upon" new webs today. Here is one gem I'd like to share with you.

So often I have had test results showing what I didn't want to see; a high lactate in a perfectly well patient who wants to go back home or normal troponin in someone who screams acute coronary syndrome already by seeing him from the door. With so much traffic in the ED there is never time to pause and check the literature and if you call the lab they will only answer technical issues concerning their machines. They never see the patients and thus don't make clinical judgments, only bla bla their reference guides.

So what if there was a website where healthcare professionals and lab managers jointly push forward literature and opinions based on these, for you, the target-user specifically? This is what Acute care testing has to offer.

You can browse their collection of great articles on topics such as when d-lactate becomes significant (do you know even if your blood gas machine actually measures it?), clinical aspects of pleural fluid pH or an excellent article "Lactate and lactic acidosis" which actually was the one that led me to this fantastic site because it is happening all the time in the ED. This was exactly what I was looking for:
"In vitro glycolysis and therefore lactate production continues after sampling so that lactate concentration increases by 30 % in just 30 minutes if kept at room temperature"

So for lab analysis and thoughts, this is da shit!

ps it's impossible to talk lab results without mentioning Life in the Fast Lanes's excellent "Medical investigations" page, everything you need for quickly evaluating your abnormal lab tests on the ward!