From The Editor
In this issue of LabNotes, we have tried to address two topics that we know can be of great concern to our readers, namely healthcare worker safety and specimen quality issues.
Over the past few years, the majority of healthcare facilities have been taking great strides to ensure the safety of their employees from sharps injuries by introducing safety-engineered needle products, in compliance with the Federal OSHA Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. Fewer facilities, however, have taken the next step in safety -- converting from glass blood collection tubes to plastic. This issue's feature article, "Plastic Collection Tubes Decrease Risk of Employee Injury," considers the safety and efficacy of plastic blood collection tubes, given the serious threat to medical professionals posed by glass tubes.
Other pressures that clinical laboratories currently face include the reduction of turnaround times for patient testing. One of the ways to achieve this in the chemistry lab has been to switch from serum to plasma specimens, thereby eliminating the clotting time required for serum tube specimens.
This has brought on new questions regarding the routine use of plasma and its quality. Our second feature article, "Why Doesn't My Heparinized Plasma Specimen Remain Anticoagulated?," has a pertinent discussion on latent fibrin formation.
As always, we welcome your comments as we try to make LabNotes a source of relevant information in this ever-changing healthcare environment.
Jeffry B. Lawrence, MD
LabNotes is published by BD Diagnostics - Preanalytical Systems, Franklin Lakes, NJ, providing the laboratory community with laboratory products, including the BD Vacutainer® Brand System, the BD Unopette™ Brand System, BD Microtainer® Brand Tubes, BD Microtainer® Safety Flow™ Lancets, BD Vacutainer® Safety-Lok™ Needle Holder, BD Vacutainer® Safety-Lok™ Blood Collection Set, BD Vacutainer® Needle Disposal Container, BD Eclipse™ Blood Collection Needle and BD Quikheel™ Lancet.
Address all correspondence to: Leslie Magee, Associate Editor, LabNotes, BD Diagnostics - Preanalytical Systems, 1 Becton Drive MC325, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417-1885.
For questions regarding our Blood, Urine collection, or other sample collection products and services please contact us.
This publication is a service to the customers and friends of BD, and is designed only to provide general information. It is not intended to be comprehensive or provide any legal or medical advice.