Support Services for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

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Support Services for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

Support Services for Workplace Testing

At Randox Testing Services, our ability to provide a wide range of products to carry out workplace drug and alcohol testing is just one part of what we do.

Alongside our drug and alcohol testing products, we provide a range of support services to guarantee complete and comprehensive testing solutions to meet your needs.

Substance Misuse Policy Review

To ensure our customers can implement a comprehensive workplace substance misuse testing policy, we conduct a full review of any relevant policies that are already in place. We offer this support service free of charge to customers. This is the first step in our process and checks that all wording and descriptions are relevant and accurate.

Once the policy has been reviewed and if necessary amended, recommendations can be made as to how the changes can be implemented. In some cases, a presentation from a Randox Testing Services representative may be necessary to explain the changes and what they mean to all staff.

Training & Education

Our training courses ensure employer confidence to carry out workplace drug and alcohol testing and management competence in enforcing the processes. All training courses are fully documented, regularly reviewed and include and assessment of the effectiveness of training. Additionally, all attendees are provided with a certificate at the end of each completed training course.

Educational seminars offer a chance for the topic of drugs and alcohol to be discussed. This opens a learning experience for employers and their employees and can be beneficial for not only the workplace but everyone taking part.

Our Training and Education Courses Include:

Drug and Alcohol Management Awareness Training

Aims to provide managers and supervisors with an understanding of drugs and alcohol and a practical knowledge of substance abuse in the workplace.

Chain of Custody Training

Empowers employers to conduct their own sample collections on-site with the same accuracy and precision as a Randox Testing Services Collection Officer.

We also offer various other services which assist companies in the implementation of workplace testing. Account management and various management information reports enable your company to receive as much information as possible about the testing being carried out, and detailed reports allow management to see the effects of workplace testing on your business.

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we aim to provide the best possible service to our customers. Whether this is by providing testing to a wide range of clients, or supporting companies with their workplace testing efforts; it is our goal to ensure workplaces are drug and alcohol free.

If you would like more information about any of our drug or alcohol testing products or how we can meet the needs of your business through our tailored services, please contact us using any of the below methods.

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com/contact/

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

For further blogs visit www.randox.com/news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Antibiotic testing in shrimp

Seafood is one of the most important exports in India with its shrimp being a staple food in many countries worldwide. However, 2017 and 2018 saw 27 shipments of shrimp refused entry into the US by the FDA. This was followed closely in January 2019, when 26 lines were refused due to the presence of two banned antibiotics, nitrofurans and chloramphenicol.

With Indian shrimp accounting for around one third of the countries seafood exports, India has expressed its concern over the rejections. It responded by calling the tests on the products ‘too stringent’.

The global shrimp industry is estimated to be worth around $30 billion and India’s market share is estimated at 13% in value terms.

Dr. Ramraj, President of the All Indian Shrimp Hatcheries Association has stated, “some of the metabolites in shrimp and crustacean shells are known to mimic antibiotics and therefore could give false results”.

The use of antibiotics in shrimp farming in India is banned. Madhusudano Rao, Principal scientist at India’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology has said, “All shrimp hatchery operators and shrimp farmers and advised to use only these antibiotic- free inputs during shrimp farming”.

Randox Food Diagnostics offer the most comprehensive range of ELISA and Biochip tests currently on the market, specifically designed to identify and detect the smallest traces of the most prevalent antibiotics used in seafood, including nitrofurans and chloramphenicol.

For more information please email us at: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com or visit our website at www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kratom: The Emerging Drug of Abuse

Amidst growing concerns of an opioid-abuse epidemic in the United States, it has been established that kratom (Mitragynine) is increasing in popularity amongst opioid users and has been reported as the new ‘legal high’.

Kratom is an unendorsed herb substance which has not yet been criminalized in the United States and is considered a powerful analgesic with opioid-like effects at high doses and acts as a stimulant at lower doses. Often used as a treatment for chronic pain or opiate withdrawal patients, it also comes in the form of a dietary supplement. As there are no Federal regulations monitoring the sale and distribution of Kratom the substance continues to be readily available and easily accessible via the internet, increasing its abuse by chronic pain patients on prescription opioids.

Kratom has been associated with psychosis, seizures, and has recently cited 100 deaths over a 17-month period by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In previous reports, the Food and Drug Administration had warned against the use of Kratom to ease opioid withdrawal, as many pain physicians are not familiar about its addictive properties. Further the DEA plans to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 substance.

Are you testing for Kratom?

Randox Toxicology are the only suppliers for the detection of Kratom. Alongside our exclusive highly sensitive kratom ELISA test, this drug of abuse is available on our New Psychoactive Substances II panel, which utilises our universally available patented Biochip Array Technology.

Offering excellent cross-reactivity and unrivalled limits of detection over a range of routine and novel assays Biochip Array Technology is the world’s first multiplex screening technology. Designed to work across multiple matrices such as urine, blood, and oral fluid its intra and inter assay precision is typically <10% giving excellent correlation with confirmatory methods.

For more information regarding our Kratom tests get in touch with us by emailing info@randoxtoxicology.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Different methods of drug testing and the benefits of each

Types of Drug Testing

At Randox Testing Services (RTS) we provide a range of testing solutions to enable you to conduct employee testing. Our screening procedure is efficient and involves an experienced sample collection officer visiting your premises to collect samples and transport them back to our laboratories for analysis. Alternatively, we can also train a member of your staff to collect samples on site with the same degree of accuracy as an RTS collection officer. Our testing solutions ensure coverage of all types of employee testing and meet the needs of all businesses.

For-Cause Testing

For-cause drug and alcohol testing is conducted when there is suspected drug abuse or alcohol misuse in the workplace. Suspicion may arise because of the employee exerting signs of substance abuse, if an allegation has been made, if drugs or alcohol have been found within the workplace or following an accident at work.

The key benefits include;

  • Legal compliance with correct measurements being taken if an employee is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Can deter employee misuse of drugs or alcohol due to a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy being in place.

Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment screening for substance abuse is an increasingly common type of workplace drug and alcohol testing. As an indicator of candidate suitability, it forms an essential part of a company’s recruitment process and helps maintain the safety of its current employee workforce and business environment.

The key benefits include,

  • Pre-employment screening is one of the easiest programmes to implement.
  • Screening applicants for use of drugs and alcohol ensures you employ the right people for your business.
  • Effective way of preventing future issues such as absenteeism and decreased productivity.
  • Pre-employment screening can help protect the integrity of a company by acting as an effective deterrent.
  • A pre-employment drug test is proved helpful to boost the repute of an organisation. The drug abusers usually stay away from applying in any firm that held a drug test at the time of employment.

Random Testing

Random testing for drugs and alcohol is a popular type of employee testing. With knowledge that a test could be conducted on anyone at any time it acts as an effective deterrent of drug abuse or alcohol misuse among employees.

The key benefits include;

  • Random testing is a deterrent for employees as they are aware they could be asked to undertake a test at any time.
  • It is a convenient and easy way to maintain a safe working environment free from substance abuse.
  • Employees are less likely to tactfully try to disguise results, or alter their habits, as they will be given little or no notice that a test is going to be conducted.
  • Employees are less likely to feel singled out due to random selection.

Post-incident testing

Post-incident testing occurs after an accident or incident in the workplace to determine if drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the cause. Incidents include injury to an employee, assault of an employee by another member of staff or damage to property.

If this is required, it is recommended that all employees involved in the incident are tested.

The key benefits include;

  • Safeguards the rights of the employees and employers to proving or disproving if drugs or alcohol were a factor in an incident.
  • Minimises the chance of a similar incident occurring.

Abstinence Monitoring

Abstinence monitoring provides employees with the support and opportunity to remain abstinent and continue to successfully at work. This type of testing is an effective tool to track progress towards addiction recovery for both the employee and the employer. Regular drug screens also give the recovering person added motivation to protect their sobriety.

For the employer abstinence monitoring provides greater security in knowing that their employee is safe to work. This is particularly important for safety critical roles.

The key benefits include;

  • Ensures that an employer is tackling and reducing the instances of substance abuse in the workplace.
  • Shows support from an employer throughout an employee’s rehabilitation process.
  • Increases employee morale and productivity.
  • Helps prevent staff turnover by offering a second chance.
  • Studies have shown that close monitoring by physicians, especially in early recovery, results in abstinence rates of over 80%.

At RTS we offer varied testing methods to be as flexible as the customer needs to fit in with their requirements.

For any further questions about implementing a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy or just general questions on workplace testing, please get in touch today!

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Employee Health & Wellbeing

Employee Health & Wellbeing

What’s important to your business?

How highly do you rank employee health and wellbeing within your business? Improving your employee health and wellbeing strategy can help you increase productivity, lower sickness rates and help improve employee morale. The presence of people in poor health at work can be more costly to the business than their absence. Not only if illness is transmitted to other colleagues, but also because ill employees are likely to work less effectively than usual, may be more susceptible to costly mistakes, create lower workplace morale and they take longer to recover from their illness.

In 2017, 131.2 million working days were lost to sickness absence (Office for National Statistics), that’s just over 4 days of sickness per employee within the UK. Giving your employee, a better understanding of their health & wellbeing gives them the opportunity to improve their health and prevent illness. Randox Health understands the importance of improving the health of your workforce. Our mission is to enhance your business by tailoring a health programme to suit your organisational needs.

EveryBusiness: Employee Health & Wellbeing

Our EveryBusiness corporate service aims to provide a unique health and wellbeing service for your business. EveryBusiness will benefit you and your employees and improve the productivity and efficiency of your business. Our service is for employers trying to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees and by doing so they will benefit from the results of creating a unique health and wellbeing environment.

It has been established that investing in employee health can reduce absenteeism, improve job satisfaction, productivity and enhance corporate image. EveryBusiness can be tailored to your business and its structure because of this it can benefit any size of business.We are committed to improving health worldwide through early identification and prevention of disease.  Using our innovative biochip technology, we measure hundreds of biomarkers in the blood, giving unprecedented access to health data.

Benefits

  • Lower Rates of Sickness & Absence
  • Positive Corporate Image
  • Increased Productivity
  • Lower Staff Turnover
  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Improved Physical and Mental Health
  • Increased Staff Morale
  • Added Employee Benefit

Client Testimonial

Watch below a testimonial from our EveryBusiness client CMI. Listen to their sales manager Paul Ramm answer some questions about their experience with Randox Health. Visit Randox Health or our new EveryBusiness page here to see more information. Contact a member of our team who can give you a break down of our services and the benefits they will have on your business.

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New findings show antimicrobial resistance on the rise

New antimicrobial resistance findings released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have reported that antimicrobials used to treat diseases can be transmitted between animals and humans. The report presents data from 28 European Union (EU) Member States on humans, pigs, and calves under one year old.

Discussing the report, Poultry World documented that resistance to fluoroquinolones is now so high in Campylobacter bacteria that these antimicrobials no longer work for treatment of severe cases. Studies found that in Campylobacter, extremely high proportions of bacteria were resistant to ciprofloxacin and tetracyclines.

Despite the increase of antimicrobial resistance, Member States that have implemented stringent policies are noteworthy examples for other countries. Broiler farms in the United Kingdom (UK) reduced their antibiotic use by 82% between 2012 and 2017, producing half the meat eaten in the UK and using less than 9.7% of the total antibiotics licensed for food-producing animals.

In the UK, the poultry industry set up the Antibiotic Stewardship group in 2011 to tackle antimicrobial resistance and pre-empt the need for new laws. Coordinated by the British Poultry Council (BPC), participants worked together, shared industry data, and managed a 40% reduction of antibiotic use between 2016-2017. Fluoroquinolone use alone reduced by 91% in the UK. On-going work is to continue in order to improve antimicrobial use, with better data collection and advanced rapid testing methods for antimicrobial sensitivity.

Randox Food Diagnostics recognise the need for antimicrobial detection by providing reliable and economical testing methods to monitor multiple residues from a single sample with Biochip Array Technology. With the Antimicrobial II Array Plus, Randox Food Diagnostic’s offer the detection of 6 classes of antimicrobial compounds including quinolones and tetracycline from urine and tissue samples. Additionally, our tetracycline sensitive and quinolones ELISA kits rapidly uncover additional analytes, with excellent sensitivity levels.

For more information please contact us at info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

Or visit the meat and seafood section of our website at www.randoxfood.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tim Cogley Foundation and Randox Health partner with Liverpool universities to bring cardiac health awareness to the city

 An event on preventative healthcare and cardiac screening is being delivered in Liverpool this week by a wealth of world-leading industry and academic speakers.

Hosted by the sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, in association with Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University and the Tim Cogley Cardiac Screening Foundation, the event, entitled the Preventative Cardiac and Metabolic Health Seminar, runs on Wednesday 3rd April and is open to the public.

It follows a morning of engaging fitness programmes, including boxing, taekwondo and indoor cycling, for local pupils and teachers from across Merseyside and Cheshire. During these exercises, which will also include the opportunity to experience life as a jockey by having a go on a horse simulator, the children will also have some physiological measurements taken, including their heart rate.

Prevention is always better than cure”, says Managing Director Dr Peter FitzGerald. “Our aim is to empower people to take control of their health, to live longer and more healthy lives.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Liverpool John Moores, Liverpool Hope and the Tim Cogley Cardiac Screening Foundation ahead of the Randox Health Grand National. The world’s greatest race offers us the perfect platform to spread our message of preventative health, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with the audiences at this exciting event.”

This is the third year that the educational event from Randox Health has been held in the city, and for the second time will be championed by Frank Cogley of the Tim Cardiac Screening Foundation, whose son suffered a fatal heart attack due to a genetic condition. Frank is now working to raise the profile of cardiac health checks for young people.

He commented;

“It’s been recently reported that at least 12 under-35s die from undiagnosed heart conditions every week in the UK. The current lack of routine screening of 18 to 40-year-olds leaves a gaping chasm in our healthcare provision.

“With our highly motivated partners, through events like this, we hope to redress this through lifestyle changes and preventative medical programmes.

 “The Tim Cogley Cardiac Screening Foundation is committed to delivery positive, action-focused and life-changing programmes. I can’t imagine a legacy more in tune with the generous, kind and supportive person that was Tim.”

Tickets for the Randox Health seminar, which focuses on health screening and how the right approach can deliver significant benefits, are priced at £3 and are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preventative-cardiac-and-metabolic-health-seminar-tickets-59041545853?aff=ebdshpsearchautocomplete

£2.27 of each ticket payment will go towards the ‘Tim Cogley Cardiac Screening Foundation’ charity. Each attendee at the event will also be entered into a raffle on the day, with the winning prize being general admission tickets for the Randox Health Grand National on Saturday 6th April.

For further information please contact the Randox PR team by emailing randoxpr@randox.com or phoning 028 9442 2413

 

 

 

 

 

 


Could H-FABP Have Potential Benefits in Diagnostics Beyond Cardiac Health Problems?

14th March 2019

Could H-FABP Have Potential Benefits in Diagnostics Beyond Cardiac Health Problems?

To date, the most traditional diagnostic test for renal impairment is creatinine. However, although most commonly used, problems can arise when implementing this test as a number of factors are not considered. On this World Kidney Day, Randox will explore the potential utility of H-FABP as a clinical diagnostic marker for cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury.

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is defined as an acute decline in renal function that can lead to structural changes. It involves a sudden drop in kidney function that usually arises due to a complication of another serious illness such as impaired renal perfusion, exposure to nephrotoxins, outflow obstruction or intrinsic renal disease. As a result, a patient can experience effects such as impaired clearance and regulation of homeostasis, altered acid/base and electrolyte regulation and impaired volume regulation.1

The mortality rate associated with AKI varies depending on severity, patient related factors and setting including whether the patient is in intensive care (ICU) or not.2 In the UK, AKI has been found to affect 1 in 5 people admitted to hospital as an emergency and has been found to be deadlier than a heart attack, contributing to around 100,000 deaths each year. Conversely, in the US, age-standardized rates of acute kidney injury hospitalisations increased by 139% among adults with diagnosed diabetes and by 230% among those without diabetes.3, 4

The rising incidence of AKI comes at price. Patients tend to survive ICU but will be discharged with various degrees of chronic kidney disease (CKD), placing an increasing strain on the health care system. At present, the cost to the NHS is estimated to be between £434 and £620 million, which is more than the costs associated with breast cancer, or lung and skin cancer combined. However, this increased cost and strain could be unnecessary, as research has shown that 30% of the reported 100,000 deaths in the UK could have been prevented with the right care and treatment.3,4

These unfavourable statistics are the result of late detection of AKI, as to date, a superior method of detection has not been found.

Cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury (CSA-AKI)

CSA-AKI is a well-recognised postoperative complication of cardiac surgery and is the second most common cause of AKI in the intensive care unit, occurring in up to 30% of patients.5,6 Of these patients, an estimated 1% will require dialysis and the majority will remain dependent on dialysis leading to an increase in mortality. Certain patient groups are more susceptible to CSA-AKI and vulnerability can depend on age, sex, pre-existing cardiac dysfunction, pre-existing CKD, previous cardiac surgery or comorbidity.7

The pathogenesis of AKI involves multiple pathways including hemodynamic, inflammatory and nephrotoxic factors that overlap  leading to kidney injury.6 Figure 1 illustrates the pathophysiology of AKI following cardiac surgery. It shows that there are multiple physiological processes that are associated with the development of AKI as a result of cardiac surgery.8

Figure 1 Illustrates the pathophysiology of AKI following cardiac surgery and the various mechanisms that contribute.8

What is H-FABP?

Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytoplasmic proteins that are abundantly expressed in tissues with an active fatty acid metabolism, with their primary function being the facilitation of intracellular long-chain fatty acid transport.9 Elevated FABP serum concentrations are related to a number of common comorbidities including heart failure, CKD, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, which represent important risk factors for postoperative AKI.10

H-FABP is most commonly associated with being a marker for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) as its concentrations peak at approximately 6-8 hours after symptom onset, making it easier to detect. Recently studies have highlighted H-FABP as a potential biomarker for the detection of AKI after cardiac surgery. This potential would mean earlier diagnosis of patients, reducing the mortality rate and costs to the health service.

Potential Mechanism for the release of H-FABP in AKI

There are a number of hypotheses regarding the release of H-FABP, with myocardial injury being considered the major reason for an increased level. The mechanisms involved in this increase have been found to differ depending on the severity of a patients ACS situation including whether they are in ICU.11

One possible explanation for the release of H-FABP is the effects of ischemic stress. Ischemic stress induced by non-cardiogenic shock is a type of mechanical stretching which can lead to the leakage of small amounts of macromolecules. This process would lead to the release of H-FABP into the blood. In non-cardiac patients, minor myocardial injury alone may not adequately explain this observed increase. Other factors such as a reduction in the amount of skeletal muscle tissue, lipid disorders, release of free radicals and an increase in free acids produced by the catabolism of glycogen could also contribute to a rise in H-FABP levels.11

One final process that could lead to increased H-FABP is the damage of vital organ functions which occurs in almost all non-surgical intensive care patients. The degree of leakage of H-FABP may vary depending on the severity of a patient’s condition and whether they have suffered from multiple organ failure or vital organ damage. AKI is a component of multiple organ failure suggesting that serum H-FABP levels may increase in AKI patients as a result. Also, serum H-FABP is excreted by renal tubular cells and patients with an acutely diminished renal function are unable to clear large amounts of H-FABP resulting in increasing levels. These potential mechanisms of H-FABP and its release during AKI provide further confirmation that the measurement of serum H-FABP is an effective biomarker in patients with AKI.11

Comparison of H-FABP Measurement Against Traditional Acute Kidney Disease Measurement Tools

For years, no standard method for definition or diagnosis  was in place for AKI. The RIFLE classification was introduced in 2004, which defined and staged renal failure over seven days into five classes of increasing severity including; risk, injury, failure, loss and end-stage kidney disease.

The RIFLE criteria were then revised by the Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) and introduced four main changes including replacing the period of seven days for serum creatinine (SCr) with forty eight  hours and implementing SCr changes as low as 0.3 mg/dL as the lowest measure considered as AKI. However, despite these changes the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcome (KDIGO) proposed that AKI is defined when any of the three criteria are met including increase in SCr by 50% in seven days, increase in SCr > 0.3 mg/dL or oliguria.7

However, despite these advances, identification and management of AKI is still difficult for two main reasons. The change of SCr does not occur until two to three days after the initial insult. Also, serum creatinine can rise for a variety of reasons such as tubular injury, hemodynamic alterations or cardio-renal interactions.

The utility of SCr as biomarker for CSA- AKI is questionable as changes occur 48 hours to seven days after the original insult.5 The delays in diagnosis of CSA-AKI may have detrimental effects as prolonging the diagnosis period may result in the disease already being well established.12

Also, a main issue concerning the AKI criteria established is its relevance to the perioperative period. Many surgical patients arrive in hospital without preoperative SCr concentrations being measured, potentially leading to over-diagnosis of AKI. However, when patients do arrive with a preoperative SCr concentration, the opposite can occur and immediate postoperative period SCr concentrations can be lower than baseline as a result of haemodilution.  A comparison of the postoperative and preoperative values can lead to under-diagnosis of AKI and consequently delayed treatment.12

The research conducted has illustrated that SCr is not the most appropriate biomarker for diagnosis of AKI. Studies have demonstrated that H-FABP has more clinical utility and is released less than thirty minutes after myocardial injury and renally excreted within 24 hours, showing that as a biomarker it responds faster than creatinine.12

How Randox can Help

The Randox H-FABP test tests utilises an immunoturbidimetric method, offers a wide measuring range and is available liquid ready-to-use for convenience and ease of use.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit the Randox H-FABP Site

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  • References

    1. National Kidney Foundation. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). National Kidney Foundation. [Online] National Kidney Foundation. [Cited: February 3, 2019.] https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/AcuteKidneyInjury.
    2. Biomarkers for the prediction of acute kidney injury: a narrative review on current status and future challenges. Geus, de, MG, Betjes and J , Bakker. 2, s.l. : NCBI, 2012, Vol. 5.
    3. Kidney Care UK. A range of useful facts and stats about kidneys. Kidney Care UK. [Online] Kidney Care UK. [Cited: February 15, 2019.] https://www.kidneycareuk.org/news-and-campaigns/facts-and-stats/.
    4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in Hospitalizations for Acute Kidney Injury — United States, 2000–2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 16, 2018. [Cited: February 22, 2019.] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6710a2.htm.
    5. Cardiac Surgery-Associated Acute Kidney Injury. Mao, h, et al. s.l. : Karger, 2013, Vol. 3.
    6. Acute Kidney Injury Associated with Cardiac Surgery. Rosner, Mitchell and Okusa, Mark. 1, s.l. : Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, 2016, Vol. 1.
    7. Cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury. Loubon, Christian, et al. 4, s.l. : NCBI, 2016, Vol. 19.
    8. Acute kidney injury following cardiac surgery: current understanding and future directions. O’Neal, Jason, Shaw, Andrew and Billings, Frederic. s.l. : NCBI, 2016, Vol. 20.
    9. Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein predicts long-term mortality after acute coronary syndrome and identifieshigh-risk patients across the range of troponin values. Kilcullen, N, et al. 20, s.l. : Epub, 2012, Vol. 50.
    10. Preoperative serum h-FABP concentration is associated with postoperative incidence of acute kidney injury in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Oezkur, Mehmet, et al. 117, s.l. : BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 2014, Vol. 14.
    11. The serum heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (HFABP) levels can be used to detect the presence of acute kidney injury on admission in patients admitted to the non-surgical intensive care unit. Shirakabe, A, et al. 1, s.l. : NCBI, 2016, Vol. 16.
    12. Perioperative acute kidney injury. Goren, O and Matot, I. 2, s.l. : British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2015, Vol. 115.

National Brain Awareness Week 11th – 15th March 2019

This year, National Brain Awareness Week runs from the 11th onto the 15th March 2019; a full week dedicated to brain health to increase public awareness of the progress and research of brain health.

Every single brain is unique and therefore, there are no two brains that are alike. The brain is an incredible and powerful organ which works throughout your life – starting from the womb to the end. It controls your body functioning in response to processing new information, developing new experiences and allowing you to understand and interact with the world. It contains one hundred billion nerve cells or neurons and each of the neurons can contact thousands of other cells via tiny structures called synapses. Our brains form a million new connections for every second of our lives.1

There are many conditions which can affect the brain including brain injuries, cerebrovascular injuries such as strokes or brain tumors, neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, or even psychological conditions.

There is increasing evidence that the choices we make in life can have significant impacts on the health of our brain and bodies as we grow older. Doctors and scientific researchers have discovered that it’s possible to improve brain health and reduce the risk of dementia and age-related cognitive decline by making simple yet small lifestyle changes – for example, improving your physical exercise.

Physical experience is not only good for the heart but also has a positive impact on the brain as well. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as exercise improves blood flow and memory. Another way to improve your brain health is to get your eight hours of sleep. Poor sleeping patterns can increase your chances of developing the brain conditions highlighted above. Also, eating well and eating foods that improve brain function will go a long way – for example, berries, fish, turmeric, green tea, avocado, walnuts and even dark chocolate.

Caroline Abrahams, Director of Age UK said: ‘The changes that we need to make to keep our brains healthy are already proven to be good for the heart and overall health, so it’s common sense for us all to try to build them into our lives.’ 3

Randox Biosciences offers the Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) Array. The Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) Array is a research use-only product developed for the Evidence Investigator. The ApoE4 Array measures both total ApoE protein levels and ApoE4 protein levels directly from plasma samples and by using a ratio it can classify patients as negative or positive for ApoE4. In turn we can then assess their risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

For further information about the Randox Alzheimer’s Array or our Evidence Investigator, please email info@randoxbiosciences.com                

  1. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9969-introduction-the-human-brain/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/brain#symptoms
  3. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/archive/lifestyle-linked-to-changes-in-brain-ageing/

 

 

 

 

 

 


How can a policy form the basis of workplace drug & alcohol testing?

If you work in a company with safety-critical roles it is more than likely that you have some sort of workplace drug and alcohol testing policy in place. Even companies without safety-critical roles are implementing these policies to further ensure the health, safety and well-being of their staff.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures. The policy itself holds vital importance, providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them, whilst educating themselves with information provided in a written comprehensive manner.

The importance of implementing a policy

The most important element of a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is SAFETY. Drug and alcohol use increases the probability of workplace accidents occurring. Studies have found that employees who have alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work. The main issues associated with substance misuse relate to:

  • Absenteeism – it’s estimated that 17 million days of work are lost per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – employees may reduce output in different tasks and become demotivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – some cases of substance abuse may lead to crime.
  • Aggressive behaviour towards others – resulting in loss of employment / convictions.

It’s evident that many who suffer from drug & alcohol abuse are in employment. Studies show 25% of those in employment were registered drug addicts with 3.3% of all adults aged 16-59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy, to ensure the welfare of each member of staff is considered. Under the Health & Safety Act 1974, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees is fully met in order to maintain standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing there is help and support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if needed.
  • It can reduce the number of sick employees, reduce staff turnover and increase productivity levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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