Canadian Blood Services is uniting with blood donor organizations across 21 countries to highlight an almost 30 per cent international drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago.
The campaign – first held in England and North Wales by NHS Blood and Transplant in 2015 – this year brings together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population who are each calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.
Throughout the campaign As, Bs and Os, the letters of the main blood groups, will disappear in everyday and iconic locations. The letters will be disappearing from famous locations in Australia, United States, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and many more countries. Celebrities from around the world are also going to show their support.
"Blood transfusions save lives and transform health for millions across the world," says Susan Matsumoto, Director, Canadian Blood Services. "But they are dependent on people donating blood. Whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after crashes or during surgery, or new moms who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare. And right now, too many As, Bs and Os are missing in Canada. We need Canadians to come forward and register to become blood donors at missingtype.ca."
Read the full news release here.
A number of pharmacies in Canada have started to offer an on-the-spot strep throat test but some experts are concerned about the safety of bypassing traditional laboratory testing.
At Shoppers Drug Marts in Alberta, Nova Scotia and British Columbia, patients can have their throat swabbed by a pharmacist (approx. $15). "In less than 10 minutes for the whole procedure, we can tell them if they are positive or negative for the strep," pharmacist Azita Rezaei said. "We strongly believe that pharmacists offering these types of services help to provide earlier access to care for patients and a savings to the health care system," said company spokeswoman Tammy Smitham.
While the service seems convenient, some experts are skeptical, such as Dr. Etienne Mahe, clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary's department of pathology and laboratory medicine. He is concerned about the sensitivity of rapid strep tests and the fact they are done without a detailed physical exam. Another concern is that a false positive can contribute to the over-prescription of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. A false negative could lead to other life-threatening conditions, such as scarlet fever. There are also no guidelines governing the use of tests in drugstores. It is unclear how many independent pharmacies and doctor’s offices are using this technology at this time.
More than three billion people are at risk of malaria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO estimated 214m cases of malaria and almost 450,000 deaths in 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa had 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths.
llumigene Malaria, a highly accurate malaria test has won the Journées Internationales de Biologie prize for innovation in emergency treatment and point of care testing. Developed by Meridian Bioscience, the test is up to 80,000 times more sensitive at detection of the malaria parasite than conventional tests, with results available in less than an hour.
The test uses loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), a DNA amplification method. It combines the accuracy of molecular testing while reducing diagnosis time, use of complicated materials and temperature changes.
Mike Shaughnessy, President for Global Diagnostics at Meridian Global Diagnostics, said "This product fits both emergency and decentralisation needs as it aids in the immediate clinical diagnostic. This test provides an extremely accurate result in less than 1 hour – a new lab technician can perform this test."