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CLSI Blog Articles

Read the latest articles about CLSI and laboratory standards in the official CLSI Blog. Browse our most recent blog articles below.

The Importance of Prenatal and Newborn Screening

Prenatal screening tests are performed during pregnancy to determine the likelihood of a baby having specific birth defects. Most tests are performed during the first or second trimester and are noninvasive. A screening can only provide information about the possibility that the condition is present. When screening is positive, further confirmatory diagnostic testing is performed.

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January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2019 is “Best for You. Best for Baby.” The National Birth Defects Prevention Network Education and Outreach Committee has developed materials and resources to assist organizations interested in raising awareness during National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

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January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month

The United States Congress has designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Cervical cancer is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.

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World AIDS Day

December 1 is the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is “Know your status”. World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programs for AIDS Prevention. Since then, every year United Nations agencies, governments, and communities join forces to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS.

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Clostridium difficile Awareness Month

November is Clostridium difficile Awareness Month. C. diff was associated with nearly 30,000 deaths in 2011. Historically thought of as a problem mostly confined to hospitals and nursing homes, C. diff rates in the community seem to be on the rise. Antibiotic use is a known factor; hospitalization is another. Clostridial species can resist disinfectants, which is why so many infections occurred in hospitals and nursing homes.

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Prevention of Specimen Labeling Errors in the Lab

Accurate specimen identification is critical for quality patient care. Improperly identified specimens can result in delayed diagnosis, additional laboratory testing, treatment of the wrong patient for the wrong disease, and severe transfusion reactions. Specimen identification errors have been reported to occur at rates of 0.1% to 5%.

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Prematurity Awareness Month and Newborn Screening

An estimated 15 million babies around the world are born premature each year and more than one million of them do not survive. Although the United States has seen sustained improvement in its preterm birth rate, it has one of the highest rates of preterm birth of any industrialized country.

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American Diabetes Month and Point-of-Care Testing

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if uncontrolled. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes; that’s one in 10. Another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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The importance of Viral Load Testing in treating HIV

Viral load testing measures the amount of HIV in a patient’s blood sample. Results are reported as the number of copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood. Examples of viral load tests include quantitative branched DNA (bDNA), reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and qualitative transcription-mediated amplification. Viral load tests are used to diagnose acute HIV infection, give health care providers treatment guidance, and monitor patient response to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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