New test for accurate differentiation of stroke types launched at Goodwood FOS Future Lab
A ground-breaking new test which improves the accuracy of stroke diagnosis has been developed by Randox scientists.
The rapid and highly sensitive blood test, which is due to be unveiled at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, can uniquely differentiate between ischaemic strokes (a blood clot) and haemorrhagic strokes (a bleed) and subsequently enable clinicians to rapidly administer the most effective treatment, which is a vital factor in limiting permanent damage.
What’s even more remarkable is that the pioneering diagnostic, appearing as part of the festival’s Future Lab exhibition, takes less than 30 minutes to complete – making sure patients get the right diagnosis as fast as possible.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, whose team developed the test, commented;
“There is great tragedy in the fact that the majority of stroke damage can be minimised if intervention is delivered on time, yet too often the window closes before a diagnosis is made. For doctors, nothing is more frustrating.
“Excellent work has been undertaken to assist the public in recognising the signs of a stroke so people can get to hospital as quickly as possible. Our stroke test is the vital next step – assisting clinicians in making a rapid diagnosis and differentiation between haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke, so their patients get the right treatment at the right time.”
Traditionally the first step in a stroke diagnosis is a CT scan, which, despite its ability to successfully diagnose haemorrhagic stroke, is significantly less capable of identifying ischaemic stroke.
Yet ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke and affects almost nine in ten patients. Its diagnosis and differentiation from haemorrhagic stroke is vital in enabling thrombolytic treatment to break down blood clots, which, given its nature, could be fatal if administered to a patient suffering from a haemorrhagic stroke. Worryingly though, in some areas of the UK, as little as 15% of eligible stroke patients receive this therapy in time.1
This is caused by a number of factors, including difficulty in determining stroke onset time, exceeding the appropriate time window for thrombolysis administration (4.5 hours from stroke onset), and importantly, not being able to differentiate ischaemic stroke from a number of other ‘stroke mimics’ including severe migraine, brain tumours, drug overdose and seizures.
The Randox Stroke Biochip successfully identifies ischaemic stroke in a rapid test which measures eight markers from a single blood sample simultaneously, in just 30 minutes.
John Lamont, R&D Director for Randox Laboratories, explained;
“While patients undergo a CT scan to confirm either the presence or lack of a haemorrhagic stroke, a blood test on the Randox Biochip can be run on our innovative point-of-care analyser, the MultiSTAT, to identify the same for an ischaemic stroke.
“For the almost 90% of stroke patients who are ruled out for haemorrhagic stroke2, the Randox Biochip will then accelerate decision making for clinicians with regards to thrombolytic therapy.
“Any treatment is most effective if started as soon as possible after the stroke occurs, and so every minute that passes without a diagnosis is likely to leave a permanent mark on a stroke patient’s future health and lifestyle. The vitally important diagnostic information from the Randox Stroke Biochip facilitates accurate stroke classification, directs the appropriate patient care pathway, and enables rapid thrombolytic therapy, ensuring a better patient outcome for ischaemic stroke sufferers, for whom time is of the essence.”
Whilst the Randox Stroke Biochip is currently being used as complementary testing in parallel with CT scanning, Mr Lamont is confident of a more prominent role for the test in the future patient pathway;
“The Biochip has the potential to really revolutionise the stroke diagnosis pathway as we currently know it. The accessibility of this type of blood testing could potentially extend its use beyond the A&E department, to ambulances and even the home, in the form of a hand-held testing device.”
For further information about our pioneering new stroke test, or about the Goodwood Festival of Speed Future Lab, please contact Amy McIlwaine in the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com
1 Royal College of Physicians Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP). Clinical audit Jan – Mar 2016 report prepared by Royal College of Physicians, Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit on behalf of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party.
2 Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party. National clinical guideline for stroke, 5th edition. London: Royal College of Physicians 2016.
Recent studies have found harmful water and food contamination throughout China due to the country’s large use of antibiotics.
In June 2006 an infant receiving treatment for a fungal infection and pneumonia in Guangzhou City was found to be infected with a kind of super bacteria resistant to seven types of antibiotics. The Epoch Times reported that Dr. Song Yanyan, who was involved in the treatment, told Chinese media Sina that nowadays many newborn babies are found to be carrying super bacteria. In antibiotic susceptibility tests, 70% of newborns were found to show resistance to one or more antibiotics, a huge increase when compared with previous figures.
Epoch times reported that; Dr Ying – lead researcher of antibiotics at the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, led a research team all over China to investigate the scale of antibiotics consumption and discharge into the environment. They produced an “antibiotics pollution map” and the findings were that in 2013 alone, 162,000 tons of antibiotics were consumed in China—52% for veterinary treatment, and 48% for human treatment. The researchers mainly focused on 36 types of the most commonly detected antibiotics. The annual consumption of these antibiotics was more than 90,000 tons, of which 84% was given to livestock.
It was found that because of the large number of animals in pig and chicken farms, farmers have been adding a variety of antibiotics to the feed to reduce the chances of infectious diseases. Similarly, aquaculture farmers often add antibiotics when feeding fish, shrimp and crab. The export of these chicken, fish and seafood products from China pose health concerns for consumers because of their high antibiotic levels.
In order to help the industry, Randox Food Diagnostics developed the revolutionary multiplexing Biochip Array Technology, allowing the screening of up to 54 individual meat, seafood, feed or cereal samples for multiple drug residues, growth promoters and toxins on the Evidence Investigator analyser in under 2 hours and 30 minutes. This high throughput allows the user to save on time and consolidate costs in comparison to confirmatory laboratories.
For more information, contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Causeway Chamber, in partnership with principle sponsor Randox Health, hosted the 2019 Causeway Coast and Glens Business Awards, which was held Friday 21st June at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine. As all enjoyed the drinks reception from Old Bushmills Distillery, the evening provided a chance to network whilst the anticipation grew before the awards presentation.
This prestigious ceremony recognised and honoured the best of the Borough’s businesses on a local and national level.
In the opening address Murray Bell, President of Causeway Chamber said;
“We have a wealth of businesses within our borough, organisations large and small, entrepreneurs, start-up innovators, all who compete at the highest level they can, and tonight is an opportunity to celebrate those talents – recognising the progress made and reaching forward to further excellence and creativity, underpinning our Chambers message that Causeway Coast & Glens Borough is an ‘Outstanding Place to live, work and play.”
350 guests attended the event including Mayor Cllr Sean Bateson, Deputy Vice Chancellor Alastair Adair, Chief Executive David Jackson, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE FREng DL, Managing Director, Randox Laboratories Ltd, local businesses, award sponsors and the 61 finalists who eagerly waited to see if they were successful as winners of their category.
Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE FREng DL, Managing Director, Randox commented;
“It is a great honour to be here once again for the Business Awards for the Causeway Coast and Glens, a region with whom we have become closely engaged since opening the newest division of our multi-faceted company; Dundarave Estate in Bushmills. Dundarave’s collection of jams, chutneys, ciders and meats has proved very popular with both the local community and other businesses, together with whom we are able to demonstrate what Northern Ireland has to offer to a global business market.
“We are proud that through our sponsorship of this event, we can not only bring together the best local businesses, support one another and celebrate our collective achievements, but also encourage all those involved to proactively think about their health. For all of us, our health is our wealth, and indeed for the entrepreneurial finalists, many of whom are self-employed, their health is their livelihood. We might all usefully consider how we can live better for longer, to fully enjoy what life has to offer, in both our business and our personal lives. I must also say that we have been very impressed with the nominees of each category and the calibre of finalists, each of whom absolutely deserve their place in the Causeway Coast and Glens Business Awards. Congratulations to all the award winners.”
Sarah Travers who was delighted to once again host the event said;
“The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough is unique in its ability to offer a variety of locations for business development. The Chamber has truly embraced the diversity of the local business talents and rewarded each sector individually.”
Annette Deighan, Chamber Operations Manager added;
“Causeway Coast and Glens Business Awards would not have been possible without our businesses and continued support of all our sponsors. It is an honour to host these awards, to recognise the achievements and success in our region. It shows as a Borough we are continuing to excel and compete at a regional and national level.”
There were 18 awards comprising of many categories sponsored by individual companies. The judges were overwhelmed with the level of entries received which is a testament to the success of these biennial awards and the achievements of all businesses within the Borough. The awards highlighted that the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough is continuing to grow, compete and provide services at a local and global level. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists on the evening.
For further information about the Causeway Coast & Glens Business Awards 2019 please contact the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or phoning 028 9442 2413
The country is set to come to Antrim town on Saturday 27th July when Randox Antrim Show will once again take place in the beautiful setting of the Shanes Castle Estate, Antrim.
Sponsors, members and supporters gathered recently at Shanes Castle to officially launch the 2019 event and call for entries to its competitions.
Speaking at the launch of Randox Antrim Show, Chairman Fred Duncan, said; “Our committee of volunteers all work hard to put on a Show that will welcome more and more people each year to come and experience the pleasures of our country way of life.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, sponsorship and funding is extremely important to the Society and we are indebted to each and every sponsor, new and long-standing. Their valuable support is what makes it possible to run the show and offer prize money to attract the best to enter our competitions. I want to add a particular note of thanks to Randox, our title sponsor, whose additional support has allowed us to add features in recent years to improve our event’s offering and attract even more people.
“The Show is also greatly indebted to our many show stewards and the local Young Farmers’ Clubs who help us in the run up to the event and on the day itself.”
Representing the show’s title sponsor at the launch, Marc Coppez, Randox Health Business Development Manager, commented;
“We are delighted to partner with the Randox Antrim Show in this our third year of sponsorship. This much-anticipated agricultural event is a popular landmark in the Borough’s summer calendar and, as an Antrim-headquartered company we are proud to once again work alongside the local community to bring this great event to fruition.
“We look forward to another successful Randox Antrim Show on Saturday 27th July as we bring our message of preventative health to attendees, enabling them to extend their lives and, crucially, to live healthier for longer.”
The new Mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey, Ald. John Smyth, who supported the provision of the Show’s Launch, in addition to new and invaluable funding that the event has been awarded this year from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, said;
“Randox Antrim Show attracts over 6,000 visitors which is a welcome boost to the local economy. It also gives the local town people the opportunity to see what the agricultural community has to offer and that sirloin steak doesn’t come in a plastic bag!
“The future lies in taking on the challenge to connect with all visitors to and residents of the Borough and let them know that Randox Antrim Show is happening and encourage them to visit.”
FINALS, QUALIFIERS AND NEW CLASSES
The Society is delighted to be hosting four Northern Ireland finals this year. The prestigious final of the Thompson’s NISA Dairy Cow Championship will take place at Antrim. This final is the culmination of nine rounds of qualifiers and showcases the very best of Dairy Cattle in the province.
For the first time the show will also host the Aberdeen Angus Ulster Championships. The NI Dexter Group has once again chosen Antrim to host its Premier Show, and for the sixth year, Randox Antrim Show will host the Northern Ireland Limousin Championships.
Antrim is also a qualifier for the Linden Foods/NISA Pedigree Beef Heifer Championships and the Bank of Ireland/NISA Pedigree Junior Bull Championship.
In the equine section, Antrim will again host a qualifier for the Equestrian & Farm Feeds/NISA Clydesdale Championship. Also, the Working Hunter classes will return after their successful introduction last year. These are in addition to the Show’s normal equine classes and show jumping section which has a total prize fund of just over £2,000.
In the sheep section, Antrim has introduced a new category for Dutch Spotted and will, once again, see the return of the NI Sheep Shearers Association Shearing Competition.
NEW CUP AND DONATION
The Horticulture and Home Industries section has been presented with the Jim McKay Trophy, a brand-new trophy for the best exhibitor in the vegetable section. The late Jim McKay from Larne, was a steward and exhibitor in the Horticultural section of the Show for many years. He’d bought the trophy before Christmas but sadly passed away very suddenly in March 2019.
About Jim, David Crawford, Home Industries Director, said, “Jim was a gentleman, who enjoyed encouraging young people and new gardeners to exhibit at Shows. We will really miss his help and cheerful banter.”
Entries in the Horticulture and Home Industries section, with the exception of home baking entries, eggs and horticulture, will once again be judged on the Friday evening, with entries being taken up until the afternoon of Friday 26th July.
There are a few new classes to look out for in the baking section of the Show’s schedule this year as well as a new YFC Craft class to make a ‘Kitchen Memo Board’.
At the show launch, Antrim representatives of Macmillan Cancer Relief were presented with a £1,000 donation by the directors of Antrim Agricultural Society. As a charity that provides invaluable physical, emotional and financial support to cancer patients it is a cause that is close to committee members’ hearts.
Randox Antrim Show wants to enable visitors to literally take a stroll through country life during the event. Aside from a wealth of farm animals and pets to peruse, the family event offers a wide and eclectic mix of stands including craft and home industries marquees, alongside agri-products and machinery.
The ‘Festival of Food’ village returns thanks to new support from the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme to showcase local food, where you’ll find cookery demonstrations and samples by local celebrity chef Paula McIntrye in her signature kitchen and local industries promoting local produce.
There’ll also be a dog agility display, an Animal Farm petting zoo, an enter on-the-day children’s pet show, family-friendly amusements, a children’s treasure hunt with goody bags for completed entries, and live music throughout the day.
If you like to ‘keep ‘er country’ with a bit of jiving, make sure you enter on-the-day for a chance to be crowned the next ‘King & Queen of the Castle’ in the jiving competition. Thanks to invaluable support from the Enkalon Foundation to help provide the wider bandstand marquee and its contents, the jiving competition’s live music will be provided by the ‘Jive Chicks’ and there’ll be prize money as further incentive.
The YFC County Games Competitions Day is also held at the event. You can expect tug-of-war, tractor handling, gator challenge and slippery football. They also plan to host the Final of the YFCU Build-It Competition.
This year Young Farmers’ Clubs members who are 18+ years can enter the event for the reduced fee of £5 on production of a valid YFCU membership card at the entrance gate.
A copy of the Show Schedule is available from the Show Secretary or can be downloaded from www.RandoxAntrimShow.com.
Times and Prices
The action takes place on Saturday 27th July from 9am to 5pm. Admission to Randox Antrim Show is £10 per Adult, £5 per Young Person (12-17 years), and Under 12s go free and must be accompanied by a paying adult. Car parking is also free.
For further information about the Randox Antrim Show please contact the Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 028 9442 2413.
A Queen’s University Belfast student has won the top spot in global healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories’ annual Student Placement Awards.
Pearce Allingham from Andersonstown, who is studying Medicinal Chemistry, was not only placed first in the Science category but was also crowned Best Overall Placement Student.
Since September 2018, Pearce had been working alongside the scientific team in the New Technology Evaluation department, taking part in the development of Randox’s newest and most classified innovations.
Speaking at the awards ceremony at Randox Laboratories HQ in Crumlin on Friday 14th June 2019, Pearce commented,
“I’m so pleased to have won this award. I couldn’t recommend a placement at Randox highly enough and it has allowed me to see what I’m capable of when I apply myself to a field I’m passionate about. From day one I was made to feel like a scientist within the team – not just a placement student – and it’s amazing that some of my contributions are helping to advance Randox’s diagnostic capabilities further. I look forward to applying my new knowledge and skills in final year and to forging a career in research – maybe even back here at Randox.”
Randox Laboratories welcomes over 60 placement students through its doors each year across Science, Engineering and Business-related disciplines, including Sales and Marketing. The company is keen to continue to maintain its reputation as a key placement provider in Northern Ireland, as explained by Linda Magee, Operations Director at Randox Laboratories.
“We host many high calibre placement students at Randox each year and the Randox Placement Awards is the pinnacle in highlighting the fantastic contribution that these students make. Pearce, in particular, impressed us with his work ethic and initiative in one of Randox’s most cutting-edge R&D teams. Gaining industry experience is vital for young people and that is why we pride ourselves on the range of placement opportunities we provide here, especially through the Randox APEX programme which offers students a paid summer placement between first and second year, a paid placement year in third year and, finally, a graduate position on completion of their degree with a 2:1 classification. It really is the complete career package for any aspiring student.”
David Boyd, a QUB Engineering student from Belfast, won in the Engineering category of the Randox Placement Awards while Andrew Wilson, an Ulster University student from Bangor, was placed first in the Business category.
David Boyd, Engineering Placement Award winner, commented,
“As part of the Engineering team, the opportunities I’ve been given here have been second-to-none and I look forward to completing my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I used to think I would go on to work in the energy sector with renewables and nuclear but my time in Randox has shown me a different industry which I would love to return to.”
Andrew Wilson, Business Placement Award winner, also said,
“Being given the same responsibilities as the rest of your colleagues is a great way to learn quickly as you get immersed in live projects and real business. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the opportunity to travel to Hamburg and Chicago for customer visits and conferences. Dealing with different departments such as manufacturing, finance and logistics, along with my own sales and marketing team, has given me an insight in to the workings of an international company which has been an invaluable experience.”
Randox Placement Awards 2019 results
1 Andrew Wilson (Marketing, Randox Food Diagnostics), an Ulster University student from Bangor
2 Kathryn Wilson (Sales, Randox Biosciences), an Aberystwyth University student from Larne
3 Adam Donnelly – (Marketing, Randox Corporate), an Ulster University student from Bellaghy
1 Pearce Allingham (Chemistry), a Queen’s University Belfast student from Andersonstown
2 Rachel McCloy (Biotechnology), a Liverpool John Moore’s University student from Ballymena
3 Thomas Smith-Zaitlik (Molecular), a Nottingham Trent University student from Henley-on-Thames.
1 David Boyd (Engineering Design, Mechanical), a Queen’s University Belfast student from Belfast
2 Reuben Cotton (Engineering Design, Mechanical), an Ulster University student from Lisburn
3 Niall Devlin (Engineering Design, Software)
Overall Randox Placement Awards winner: Pearce Allingham
For further information please contact the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or phoning 028 9442 2413
In early May 2019, over 550 state employees in Egypt were referred to the Egyptian public prosecution office after being forced to take a drug test under a new law.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity announced on May 5th that 15,877 state employees had recently been drug tested, and that 555 had been referred to the Administrative Prosecution Authority (APA) for testing positive for illegal drugs.
The sudden crackdown on drug users follows the government in Egypt approving a bill in March that authorised the required drug testing of all state employees from ministerial to the local level. Alongside members of the civil service, employees working for public transportation, hospitals, and other state-run institutions must also be drug tested. Anyone who refuses to be drug tested will have their employment terminated.
The new law was brought in with explicit support from Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, following a deadly train crash in Cairo after which the train driver tested positive for drug use.
Egyptian law does not specify the punishment for someone who tests positive for drug use, but the director of Egypt’s Fund for Drug Control and Treatment – Amr Osman – has warned that any state bus or rail drivers testing positive for drug use face imprisonment for at least two years, and a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($582).
University students and employees will also be subject to mandatory drug testing, the education minister has announced. In this case, people who test positive will be offered “treatment” and will be sacked or expelled from the university if they refuse to comply.
Randox Toxicology offer the Evidence MultiSTAT, a fully automated immunoanalyser that, utilising Biochip Array Technology (BAT), enables on-site simultaneous detection of up to 21 drugs of abuse from a single sample. The Evidence MultiSTAT requires only a small sample volume and can generate results in under 20 minutes. The process from sample entry to results is completed in only 3 simple steps, with minimal room for human error. The MultiSTAT is designed to make set-up and analysis as quick, simple and reliable as possible.
Diabetes Week is an annual week to raise awareness of diabetes. This year, the aim is to increase the public’s understanding of diabetes 1. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global epidemic, increasing at an alarming rate and burdening healthcare systems 2. DM is a life-long condition characterised by the body’s inability to produce / respond to insulin resulting in the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated blood glucose levels.
Whilst it is important to increase the public’s understanding of DM, it is imperative that clinicians and physicians are aware of the different in vitro diagnostic tests to diagnose and monitor DM. Not only is this vital, but is also important that clinicians and physicians also understand the different methodologies available when choosing the diagnostic test.
It has been highlighted in numerous clinical studies that diabetic complications may be reduced through the long-term monitoring and tight control of blood glucose levels. Both fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) tests are universally accepted as reliable measurements of diabetic control. However, studies have emerged highlighting the role of fructosamine in diabetes monitoring. Whilst HbA1c provides an index of glycaemia over 2 to 3 months, fructosamine provides this index over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, enabling closer monitoring of diabetic control 1.
Drawbacks of Traditional Diabetes Tests
The FPG test measures the level of blood sugars which is used to diagnose and monitor diabetes based on insulin function. The main drawback of this test is that a hormone called glucagon, produced in the pancreas, is triggered during prolonged fasting, signalling the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. In diabetic conditions, either the body is unable to generate enough insulin or cannot appropriately respond to insulin. Consequently, FPG levels remain high 4.
In the 1980’s, HbA1c was incorporated into clinical practice as HbA1c levels correlated well with glycaemic control over a 2 to 3-month period. The main drawback of this test is that any condition that reduces the survival rate of erythrocytes such as haemolytic anaemia will falsely lower the HbA1c test results, regardless of the assay method utilised 5.
In a diabetic patient where blood glucose levels are abnormally elevated, the concentration levels of fructosamine also increase as fructosamine is formed by a non-enzymatic Maillard reaction between glucose and amino acid residues of proteins. During this glycation process, an intermediate labile Schiff base is produced which is converted to a more stable ketoamine (fructosamine) via an Amadori rearrangement 2.
Fructosamine has been identified as an early indicator of diabetic control compared to other markers such as HbA1c. Red blood cells live for approximately 120 days, HbA1c represents the average blood glucose levels for the previous 2 to 3 months. Conversely fructosamine has a shorter lifespan, about 14 to 21 days, reflecting average blood glucose levels from the previous 2 to 3 weeks. Due to the shorter time span of fructosamine, it is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication changes and to monitor the treatment of gestational diabetes. The test is also particularly useful in situations where HbA1c cannot be reliably measured e.g. haemolytic anaemia, thalassemia or with genetic haemoglobin variants 5.
Fructosamine Assay Methodology
The most commonly utilised method for fructosamine testing is the colorimetric method. Whilst widely available, automated and inexpensive, the main drawback is the lack of standardisation across the different fructosamine assays 4.
Randox, on the other hand, utilise an enzymatic method, offering improved specificity and reliability compared to conventional NBT-based methods. The Randox enzymatic method does not suffer from non-specific interferences unlike existing methods which can also be time consuming and difficult to automate.
The Randox fructosamine assay is also standardised to the highest level as the Randox fructosamine calibrator and control is assigned relative to human serum glycated with 14C-glucose, which directly reflects the nature of the patient sample.
With an excellent stability of 28 days on-board the analyser, the Randox fructosamine assay is developed in a liquid ready-to-use format for convenience and ease-of-use.
Randox offer fully automated applications detailing instrument-specific settings for the convenient use of the Randox fructosamine assay on a wide range of clinical chemistry analysers.
Want to know more?
Contact us or download our diabetes brochure
Reagents Resource Hub
 Diabetes UK. Diabetes Week. [Online] 2019. [Cited: May 31, 2019.] https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/diabetes-week.
 Gounden, Verena and Jialal, Ishwarlal. Fructosamine. [Online] January 23, 2019. [Cited: April 11, 2019.] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470185/.
 World Health Organization (WHO). Diabetes. [Online] October 30, 2018. [Cited: May 2, 2019.] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes.
 Manzella, Debra. The Fasting Plasma Glucose Test. very well health. [Online] November 16, 2018. [Cited: April 11, 2019.] https://www.verywellhealth.com/understanding-the-fasting-plasma-glucose-test-1087680.
 BMJ. Using haemoglobin A1c to diagnose type 2 diabetes or to identify people at high risk of diabetes. [Online] 2014. [Cited: April 11, 2019.] https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2867/rr/695927.
What is Familial Hypercholesterolemia?
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic condition which is passed down from the parents’ genes. The British Heart Foundation has highlighted that FH is caused by a genetic mutation which means the liver is unable to remove excess ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL), therefore, the LDL level in the blood remains high.2 Someone who suffers with FH would have high cholesterol from birth which can cause other health issues including heart and circulatory disease.
Heart UK states that more than 260,000 people in the UK may have FH. However, less than 10% of this number have been diagnosed and therefore, may not be aware of their condition.3 However, to date there are no clear symptoms if someone has FH until it is considered too late.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) symptoms
- Swollen tendons/fatty lumps on the knuckles of your hands, at the back of your ankles and knees
- Cholesterol deposits around the eye-lids (looks like pale and yellowish patches)
- Grey-white cholesterol deposits around the corneas
If untreated, about 50% of men and 30% of women with FH will develop coronary heart disease by the time they are 55. More worryingly, on average in the UK, one person a day with FH has a heart attack. About a third of people don’t survive their first heart attack, and many who do survive will have damaged hearts.
The good news is that a 2008 study part-funded by the BHF found that people with FH who are diagnosed and treated before they develop heart disease generally live as long as people who don’t have FH. That’s why it is vitally important to get diagnosed as early as possible.
How Randox Biosciences can help
Randox Biosciences offers the Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Arrays I & II to help encourage early diagnosis with rapid turnaround time. This allows results to be reported within days compared with NHS waiting lists which can be substantially longer.
Our two arrays are rapid, simple and accurate which enables the simultaneous detection of 40 FH-causing mutations (20 mutations per array) within the LDLR, ApoB and PCSK9 genes.
The mutational status can be determined rapidly from a single test, with a reduced need for confirmatory testing. Genetic analysis for FH mutations also allows for more accurate diagnosis compared to lipid profiling.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Arrays I & II:
LDLR – 38 mutations
APOB – 1 mutation
PCSK9 – 1 mutation
To find out more about the products that we offer, email us firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge congratulations is in order for Science Higher Level Apprentice Sarah Casey who battled it out at the NI WorldSkills Regional Heat on 4th June to be awarded a well-deserved second place.
This was the first WorldSkills NI Regional Heat for Laboratory Technicians and was hosted at Southern Regional College, the Life Sciences Hub for Further Education in Northern Ireland.
The laboratory technician competition is based on real life scenarios in science that demonstrate technical competence in the use of complex instrumentation, laboratory equipment and skills. The competition is designed to reflect the work of a laboratory technician and tests their skills in techniques and procedures to solve practical problems through analysis, tests and measurements while ensuring safe and ethical working practices.
“This regional heat was a fantastic opportunity for higher education students across the sector to showcase their technical and analytical abilities. The competitors have performed exceptionally well under such challenging conditions” said Dr. Asha Jamil, Life Sciences Hub Development Manager at Southern Regional College.
She continued; “Judges have come from a variety of specialist scientific backgrounds from both education and industry across the UK and I am delighted that competitors from NI had this opportunity to demonstrate their range of skills on such a prestigious platform. Judges also commented that they were highly impressed by all the competitors’ technical and analytical skills and their professional approach to this challenging competition.”
Judges were representatives from Middlesex University, Norbrook Laboratories, and also included the current Team UK Laboratory Technician winner, Tonicha Roberts, who is a Forensic Reporting Scientist with Eurofins Forensic Services, UK.
Competitors came from a range of higher education programmes from across the NI sector including Foundation Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) programmes. The HLA students study their underpinning Ulster University Foundation Degrees at Southern Regional College (Newry and Portadown campuses) and are employed with Norbrook Laboratories, Randox and Almac.
Sarah Casey, who was awarded second place, is currently a Southern Regional College student completing the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Applied Industrial Sciences (Life Sciences Pathway) in the Randox Science Park in Antrim. Sarah also won Southern Regional College’s Science Competition in January 2019.
The top performing competitors across the UK will now have a nail-biting wait to see if they have scored high enough to qualify for the WorldSkills UK Final at Birmingham’s NEC in November. We wish Sarah the best of luck!
At Randox Testing Services, we are always trying to think of new ways to get the message across about the positive impact workplace drug & alcohol testing can have on an organisation. So, we decided to speak with one of our colleagues; Simon Tibbo, who is regularly engaging with companies about how to be proactive in minimising the risks of substance misuse.
Read below to find out what he had to say.
From your experience and knowledge, what industries are currently implementing testing programmes?
Apart from the finance industry, I’ve personally seen testing programmes within almost all business sectors, from the obvious, safety critical industries, Rail Track, Maritime, Construction, Logistics, all the way through to manufacturing firms, retail outlets, and even predominantly clerical companies. If a company has a workplace substance misuse policy and are looking to satisfactorily enforce the terms within, they will be engaged with a service provider, such as Randox, to properly support the policy.
What are, in your opinion, the barriers that companies face when trying to implement working drug & alcohol testing?
The introduction of a substance misuse policy to an already existing ‘company handbook’ can be a challenge, especially if the work-force has been established for some time. People don’t tend to like change, especially within the workplace. Unions can sometimes be unwelcoming to the idea of random testing and will often look to restrict the scope of testing or the policy itself. I’d say that each industry/company will likely meet its own barriers whilst developing and implementing a policy, and some may well be unique to the individual circumstances. Often, customers may implement an amnesty period prior to the commencement of a drug testing programme. This gives employees the opportunity to come forward and declare if they have a substance misuse issue which they can address together with their employer without sanctions.
Why has there been a delay in some companies developing workplace policies that directly relate to substance misuse?
There could be many reasons as to why a company hasn’t implemented a policy, but I’d expect somewhere near the top of that list would be either the assumption there isn’t a substance misuse issue within the business/industry, the worry that a substance misuse issue within the business/industry is highlighted by the introduction of a policy, and therefore creating more problems than its seen to be solving, or even that a company is simply unaware the solution is available and beneficial.
How important within a policy is it that a company clearly outlines what is expected of an employee, and the consequences of substance misuse?
Very! A policy needs to be clear and concise in its structure and procedures. If you aren’t explaining the terms or the consequences you could potentially end up with a problematic HR process and unresolvable tribunal cases. If an employee has sight of a straightforward policy they will know what to expect if the terms are breached, not to mention enforcing it should be equally as straightforward. It is also important to state why the policy is in place – i.e. to protect the workforce, the public and the company reputation.
Is it important to state cut-offs in substance misuse policies?
For alcohol, yes, most certainly. For drugs, not so much. An alcohol test with a home office approved breathalyser will provide an evidential result, which can be directly related to a ‘site cut-off’ (in the same manner as the existence of a road legal limit). Workplace drug testing should adhere to specific guidelines set-out by the EWDTS (European Workplace Drug Testing Society) in not just it’s procedures, but also its expected substance cut-offs. The cut-offs differ between substances so it’s not quite as straightforward. My suggestion would always be, if you feel it necessary to include drug cut-off information, refer to the EWDTS guidelines, they’re available to download on the EWDTS website if anyone needs sight, but ensure your provider is working to them and don’t go into full details, it’ll serve only to add unnecessary bulk to what should ideally be a streamlined policy.
How effective has workplace testing been in helping companies reduce the risk of drug & alcohol use?
From personal experience I can tell you, I’ve seen companies implement a policy/testing practice due to an awareness of substance misuse, only to reduce the volume of testing over time as the approach has proved successful in reducing or eradicating the specific problem. I’d say that’s a testament to implementing a random testing practice, it sends a sensible message in a fair and balanced manner, which ultimately gets results. If it’s done right, it’s going to be beneficial, even if it’s not particularly well received at its inception. Other examples where testing volume has been scaled back have led to an increase in the rates of positives demonstrating that an active testing programme is a deterrent to substance misuse.
Going forward, what industries do you see adopting a more proactive approach in use of substance misuse testing?
Likely most industries, every company has a duty of care to staff, contractors, visitors and/or the public. There will always be industries that don’t agree, don’t want to uncover issues or don’t believe they exist, but it’s the people that matter and the more that’s done to promote safety, welfare and overall good practice, the more industries will settle to the idea.
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services offer a wide range of products and services for the testing of illicit substances. We can craft customised packages to suit the needs of our customers, no matter what the industry.
Our expertise and experience working within this industry allow us to provide a range of testing solutions that will impact the risk of substance use in the workplace. With an extensive collection network and quality products, we can meet the needs of your business.
To find out more, contact us:
Phone: +44 (0) 28 9442 2413