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1.
Transfusion ; 61(6): 1955-1965, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142977

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Avoidable human error is a significant cause of transfusion adverse events. Adequately trained, laboratory staff in blood establishments and blood banks, collectively blood facilities, are key in ensuring high-quality transfusion medicine (TM) services. Gaps in TM education and training of laboratory staff exist in most African countries. We assessed the status of the training and education of laboratory staff working in blood facilities in Africa. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a self-administered pilot-tested questionnaire was performed. The questionnaire comprised 26 questions targeting six themes. Blood facilities from 16 countries were invited to participate. Individually completed questionnaires were grouped by country and descriptive analysis performed. RESULTS: Ten blood establishments and two blood banks from eight African countries confirmed the availability of a host of training programs for laboratory staff; the majority of which were syllabus or curriculum-guided and focused on both theoretical and practical laboratory skills development. Training was usually preplanned, dependent on student and trainer availability and delivered through lecture-based classroom training as well as formal and informal on the job training. There were minimal online didactic and self-directed learning. Teaching of humanistic values appeared to be lacking. CONCLUSION: We confirmed the availability of diverse training programs across a variety of African countries. Incorporation of virtual learning platforms, rather than complete reliance on didactic, in-person training programs may improve the education reach of the existing programs. Digitalization driven by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may provide an opportunity to narrow the knowledge gap in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).


Subject(s)
Blood Banks , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Medical Laboratory Personnel/education , Transfusion Medicine/education , Adult , Africa/epidemiology , Blood Banks/methods , Blood Banks/standards , Blood Specimen Collection/methods , Blood Specimen Collection/standards , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Transfusion Medicine/standards
2.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 100(1): 115309, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1032803

ABSTRACT

Diagnostic microbiology services form a critical component of the response to infectious disease outbreaks. Like previous respiratory virus pandemics, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed significant strains on the standing capacity of laboratories around the world. In this case study, we describe the surge response required by our laboratory to meet the fluctuating demand for SARS-CoV-2 in our regional pathology service in Western Sydney, Australia between March and May 2020. While the overall number of SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive cases was relatively low compared to other Australian local health districts, testing numbers were highly unpredictable and changed on a weekly basis as local outbreaks were detected. As with other laboratories, numerous other challenges were also faced during this period, including the requirement to introduce a new and unaccredited diagnostic PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2, local and global shortages of reagents for sampling and sample processing, and a significant institutional SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in our laboratory catchment area. A successful service delivery during this period could only be maintained by a dynamic whole-of-laboratory and organizational response including (1) operational changes to the hours of service and the expansion of diagnostic testing at our laboratory site and other sites within our organization (2) careful management of specialist staff and re-training and recruitment of additional staff (3) changes to laboratory workflows to improve SARS-CoV-2 PCR test turnaround time and to accommodate limits to precious laboratory reagents; (4) clear communication within our laboratory and the NSW Health Pathology organization; and (5) collaborative co-ordination and support by NSW Health Pathology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Laboratories/organization & administration , Microbiology , Australia , Clinical Laboratory Services/organization & administration , Clinical Laboratory Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Laboratories/supply & distribution , Medical Laboratory Personnel/education , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Time Factors
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