World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

It’s that exciting time of year again! For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 (WAAW), the World Health Organisation has selected the slogan “Antimicrobials: Handle with care. United to preserve antimicrobials.” You will notice that we now talk in terms of “antimicrobials” rather than “antibiotics” because we recognise that resistance in organisms other than bacteria (such […]

Pre-Departure Testing for China

For pre-departure COVID testing for travel to China please check the latest requirements from the Chinese Embassy website here: http://www.chinaembassy.org.nz/eng/

University of Otago MELS 410 Medical Laboratory Science for Rural Health

Rural recruitment has always been part of the challenge of running a laboratory service across the Southern region for SCL. For example, in mid-2018, SCL Dunstan advertised widely for a full time laboratory worker. There were no suitable NZ educated applicants and so a Philippine qualified Technician, who had been working in Qatar, was appointed […]

ANCA: Indications for testing

View the table of Indication for ANCA testing and clinical definitions >>

COVID-19 Pre-departure – For Referrers

The Ministry of Health has advised laboratories and PHOs that COVID exit testing for repatriation to other countries pre-departure will not be funded by the NZ government from 22 June 2020. People registering for repatriation flights departing NZ will be made aware of any requirements around pre-departure testing by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and […]

New Covid-19 antibody blood test could see cases rise

A new test, named the Abbott antibody test, can check for past exposure to Covid-19 by indicating if a person has antibodies to the virus from previous infection, RNZ reports. The research was conducted by Southern Community Labs, the Southern District Health Board, and the universities of Auckland and Otago, and scientists expect the test […]

Doing whatever it takes to get COVID-19 swabs tested

With just 24 hours notice that Air New Zealand would not fly from New Plymouth during lockdown, Taranaki laboratory workers had to think fast. They had swabs of possible Covid-19 patients that needed to be tested in Wellington and with air freight out of the question, and the cost of an urgent courier too high, […]

Vitamin D Testing Criteria

Vitamin D tests were originally developed for investigation of rickets, osteomalacia and other metabolic bone disorders. In recent years the number of requests for vitamin D tests has increased dramatically. Most of these requests are unrelated to metabolic bone disease, and have arisen because of reported associations between various disease states (cancers,cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune […]

GP update in E-ordering a positive outcome from lockdown

Electronic ordering of lab tests has been available around the country for some time now, but the uptake from GPs has been relatively low in some regions. With COVID-19 forcing the country into lockdown, and for many GPs – taking them online, e-ordering lab tests to support virtual consults saw significant uptake in the Nelson […]