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Chronological index
2013–2018

Microbiology’s shifting role in war on sepsis

August 2018—If you were casting about for the severest test of a laboratory’s capabilities, day in and day out, sepsis admissions at a pediatric hospital might fit the bill. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and at other hospitals, waging war on sepsis requires battles on multiple fronts and clinical pathways that rely on an agile and highly equipped microbiology laboratory. Three main categories of patients ensure there is no shortage of sepsis cases at CHOP, says Erin H. Graf, PhD, D(ABMM), director of the infectious disease diagnostics laboratory. “We’re a very large oncology center with a lot of children with hematologic malignancies as patients, who are certainly at high risk for sepsis.”

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Transfusion medicine checklist: Record and other requirements updated in new release

August 2018—One new requirement and several modified requirements in the CAP transfusion medicine checklist are part of the new edition of CAP accreditation program checklists released this month. In work led by the CAP Council on Accreditation, the checklists are examined anew and revised yearly, where needed. In transfusion medicine, the changes this year center on computer crossmatches, record retention, forward/reverse typing, and ABO group and Rh(D) type verification.

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Cytology workload limits: For adequacy assessments, it’s time, not slides

August 2018—The CAP and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reached an understanding earlier this year on how adequacy assessments and rapid on-site evaluations in cytology can be accounted for without causing undue impact on workload limits. The agreement, communicated to state survey agency directors in a March 16 CMS memorandum, is reflected in the updated CAP accreditation program cytopathology checklist released this month.

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Cytopathology in Focus: Synergy in cytopathology and molecular microbiology

August 2018—In today’s less-is-more world, health care consumers and providers often seek explicit and detailed information from minimally invasive procedures and tiny samples. Over are the days of “malignant cells present” and on to the next case. Cytopathologists and cytotechnologists are embracing and integrating novel techniques and applying new methods to the diagnosis and classification of essentially every imaginable form of neoplasia. The 2018 WHO publications confirm that 29 percent of deaths worldwide (more than 10 million people annually) are attributable to communicable diseases.1,2 This means the purpose of procuring many specimens is not to just rule out malignancy but also to diagnose infectious etiologies.

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Cytopathology in Focus: Why not call everything ASCUS?

August 2018—Below is a question shared on the ASC listserv. My reply to the question follows. A pathologist colleague who practiced previously as an obstetrician/gynecologist is of the opinion that categorizing the level of abnormality we observe on a Pap test is a waste of time. All the clinician needs to know, he says, is whether the test is normal or abnormal. The Pap test is a screening test, he says correctly, and its only relevance is in pointing out who needs a colposcopy and biopsy.

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