Issue No. 5
Mar 7, 2006

CONTENT

New TeleHealth Seminars Begin in March!

PHAC Emergency Preparedness Information

Pandemic Response News

New Avian Flu Lab Assay

Mission Lab Cancer Cluster Review Published

Catch the Dream in Winnipeg

National Medical Laboratory Week


OTHER ISSUES
Issue No. 19 (Dec 12, 2008)
Issue No. 18 (Jul 25, 2008)
Issue No. 17 (Dec 21, 2007)
Issue No. 16 - Bioterrorism (Oct 25, 2007)
No. 15 - Pre-Congress Edition (Sep 6, 2007)
Issue No. 14 (May 16, 2007)
Issue No. 13 (Mar 23, 2007)
Issue No. 12 (Dec 20, 2006)
Issue No. 11 (Sep 13, 2006)
Issue No. 10 (Aug 24, 2006)
Issue No. 9 (Jul 24, 2006)
Issue No. 8 (Jun 1, 2006)
Issue No. 7 (Apr 24, 2006)
Issue No. 6 (Mar 31, 2006)
Issue No. 4 (Feb 17, 2006)
Issue No. 3 (Feb 1, 2006)
Issue No. 2 (Jan 17, 2006)
Issue No. 1 (Dec 17, 2005)
Issue No. 0 (Oct 20, 2005)

Issues No. 20 and subsequent (2009 - onward)

 

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New TeleHealth Seminars Begin in March!

On March 23rd BCSLS will host its first TeleHealth seminar of 2006. The Use of Chemistry Tests in Kidney Disease by Dr. J. Heathcote (BC Biomedical) will overview the functions of the kidney as they relate to filtration, fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base homeostasis, and secretion of waste products as well as discuss laboratory tests and their interpretation.

Time: 6:00PM-8:00PM (PST) Thursday

Location: Over 20 TeleHealth equiped sites throughout the province. For further information on sites please email BCSLS.

Early Bird Rate: $25 BCSLS Members/$50 Non-Members (through March 9th).

Late Registration: $35 BCSLS Members/$65 Non-Members (after March 9th).

Online Registration

Mail-in Registration Form

Check out our other upcoming TeleHealth seminars.

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PHAC Emergency Preparedness Information

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has published information on its website to assist those engaged in emergency planning for

  • natural events and disasters such as floods, earthquakes, fires and highly dangerous infectious diseases
  • accidents or criminal and terrorist acts involving explosives, chemicals, radioactive substances or biological threats

The site contains useful information on bioterrorism and biological toxins, infectious diseases, laboratory safety and security, international health regulations, and a catalogue of training programs developed by each province.

You can also register to receive PHAC online updates by email.

It is worth noting the World Health Organisation (WHO) Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response web site also provides a global perspective on emergency planning and preparedness.

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Pandemic Response News

It has been reported that some Ontario physicians are worried they will be forced to work during a flu pandemic, through amendments being made to the province’s Emergency Management Act. It would obligate citizens to perform services they are qualified to provide. Those who refuse can be fined and imprisoned, according to the CanWest News Service (Feb. 21). A related article in the La Presse (Feb. 20) says that the Quebec government is looking for volunteers to fill in for sick health providers during a pandemic, and has estimated that as many as 20,000 providers and other workers could be off work during a single week. Provincial health care professional associations have been asked to put together lists of inactive and retired members and students who can step in.

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New Avian Flu Lab Assay

On February 3, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report clearance of the Influenza A/H5 (Asian Lineage) Virus Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Primer and Probe Set and inactivated virus as a source of positive RNA control for the in vitro qualitative detection of highly pathogenic influenza A/H5 virus (Asian lineage). Two genetic lineages of influenza A/H5 viruses exist: Eurasian (Asian) and North American. The primer and probe set, developed at the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is designed to detect highly pathogenic influenza A/H5 viruses from the Asian lineage associated with recent laboratory-confirmed infections of avian influenza in humans in east Asia and, most recently, in Turkey and Iraq.

Testing with the new assay will be limited to laboratories designated by the Laboratory Response Network (LRN), which consists of approximately 140 U.S. laboratories in 50 states. Additional information about the laboratory assay is available on the FDA web site.

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Mission Lab Cancer Cluster Review Published

A report from the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH) examined health records, environmental factors, chemicals and equipment used by 63 full-time, part-time and casual workers at Mission Memorial Hospital (Abbotsford News, February 18, 2006). The conclusion: a suspected cancer cluster involving 11 lab technologists, six of which have an unusual form of breast cancer, is a "statistical anomaly".

The OHSAH review found that all conditions met WorkSafeBC standards (The Vancouver Sun, February 20, 2006). The affected lab technologists and their families, however, are not convinced.

The proximity of the lab air intake to the incinerator smokestack from 1980 to 1994, and the resulting noxious odours experienced by lab staff were a deep concern to them. One family member of a lab tech with an agressive form of breast cancer said that the air ducts leading to the lab were professionally cleaned last year, without any testing for chemical residue.

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Catch the Dream in Winnipeg

Sights, sounds, smells—experience it all in Winnipeg at the Joint Congress of Medical Laboratory Science, May 28 to 31 2006. The multidisciplinary scientific program will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from innovations in the field of medical laboratory science to trends in health care. One day of the program will focus on aboriginal health care issues. There will also be a two-day trade exhibition and of course, ample opportunity to relax and enjoy the hospitality of “Friendly Manitoba”.

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science and the Manitoba Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists invite you to “Catch the Dream” at Canada’s premiere medical laboratory science conference.

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National Medical Laboratory Week

National Medical Laboratory Week is April 23-29. BCSLS is planning to have its television advertisement aired throughout the week on CTV. A final schedule will be published on our web site. If you are planning an event to mark NMLW let us know and we will promote it on our web site and newsletter. Just fill out the NMLW Event Form and mail or fax it to

BCSLS

720 - 999 West Broadway

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K5

Fax: 604 738 4080

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