Many have been complaining that the standard PCR test to detect the new coronavirus is too slow when it comes to results. In a lot of critical cases, the results come too late, meaning the patient had already died of COVID-19 complications.
There is a quicker alternative to the standard PCR test: it’s called “rapid antibody testing” and a lot of people, including government agencies are using them to help spot more potential cases. However, we must take note that these rapid test kits do not actually detect if a person has the COVID-19 virus or not. Only the PCR test can detect the virus.
The rapid antibody test requires a blood sample. Instead of detecting the presence of the actual virus, the rapid test can only detect the presence of antibodies specific to the virus.
What does the presence of these antibodies mean? It’s a sign that the person a) is currently infected; or b) the person was previously infected and has now recovered. The processing time for this test will only take approximately 15 to 45 minutes.
Unlike the rapid antibody tests, PCR tests use actual swabs from patients taken from the nose or throat. This test takes longer before results are released; from 24 hours or up to 3 days for the results to be released.
It’s been proposed that this rapid testing be done on workers and employees returning to work once the lockdowns are relaxed. Among the advantages of rapid testing is cost, as it is much cheaper to use, and the speed of results. But there’s a trade-off involved.
Many medical experts don’t recommend the antibody testing kits because of their “high level of inaccuracies, particularly the high prevalence of “false positives.” The World Health Organization does not recommend using rapid diagnostic tests to confirm COVID-19 cases.
Despite these worries, many countrys decided to use rapid test kits in conjunction with PCR-based test kits. While rapid tests aren’t reliable enough for diagnostic purposes, they can be useful in screening those who are possibly vulnerable to the disease.
For now, only the following persons can be tested using the rapid testing kits:
Asymptomatic healthcare workers but have “unprotected exposure”
A person who shows symptoms and had close contact of a known or suspected case
Asymptomatic person who had close contact of a COVID-19 patient
People returning from another country whether symptomatic or asymptomatic
Asymptomatic people but are residing in areas with suspected community-based COVID-19 transmission
Now, as we slowly adapt to the “new normal,” we can only rely on our available resources and continue to follow preventive measures.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Vacuum Blood Collection Tubes
Most of the medical devices you see in labs are used for clinical purposes. For instance, doctors and nurses use tubes to collect blood samples of patients, to run tests on them. The use of disposable vacuum blood collection tubes and transport tubes in hospitals has significantly increased over the years because they ensure the health and safety of everyone. Using these blood collection tubes, doctors and nurses maintain a good quality of hygiene and this is why they are mostly preferred. Ever wondered what are the benefits of these popular vacuum blood collection tubes? We have compiled some prominent perks of these tubes here:
1. Blood Collection Tubes Prevents Contact With Infection
Most patients come in carrying contagious diseases. The nursing staff is most exposed to all the horrible diseases because they deal with blood samples all day. These diseases can easily transmit if the blood sample is not handled with all the necessary precautions. With the help of disposable vacuum blood collection tubes, nurses and hospital staff can extract blood from patients without contacting the blood. This is because the vacuum tubes are mostly in a closed state. The vacuum blood tubes are made with plastic or glass material, with light pressure. These tubes are non-friable and portable. All these factors contribute to the safety of the nursing staff.
2. These Tubes Prevent The Blood Samples From Getting Contaminated
The vacuum inside the blood tubes plays a crucial role in saving the blood sample of patients from catching contamination. When the patient’s blood is pumped in the tube, there is no way it can be exposed to the outside environment. Moreover, the vacuum blood collection tube is sterilized, therefore it is free of any dirt particle. Due to the vacuum that does not allow the blood sample to come in contact with the external environment, the accuracy of the test results is enhanced. All the vacuum blood collection tubes come with safety caps that ensure maximum protection of the blood sample inside. These protection caps prevent any dirt from getting in.
3. These Tubes Have An Accurate Scale
It is extremely important to have accurate scales in the blood tubes because when agents and other medicines are added, the results can vary. The vacuum blood collection tubes come with fine scales. So, when you add examination items and other substances in the blood sample of the patient, the results are guaranteed accurate.
4. Vacuum Tubes Can Be Used With A Variety Of Analyzers
The specifications of these vacuum collection tubes are kept in line with international standards. If you own a full range of these blood extraction tubes, you can easily conduct all the laboratory experiments. Moreover, the needle that comes with the tube is good enough to complete the testing of all the samples. This also lifts the pain of patients because they won’t be injected again and again.
5. The Tubes Are Environment-friendly
The vacuum tubes can be used for 24 months straight, without needing to get another. After this period, you can easily dispose of the tubes and they don’t harm the environment. When burning carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen in these tubes, they don’t produce toxic gases.
DISPOSABLE VIRUS SAMPLING TUBE
The Disposable Virus Sampling Tube is designed to collect, preserve, and transport swab (nasopharyngeal, or throat) specimens and to preserve and transport nasal aspirate/wash specimens containing viruses from patients with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection prior to analysis.
1. In the current epidemic situation, virus sample collection is an important part of virus detection.
2. The single-use virus sampling tube can collect, transport, Inactivate and store virus samples from specific parts of the human body.
★ Easy to operate and use
★ Adding virus stabilizing ingredients can maintain the activity of the virus in a wide temperature range and reduce the decomposition rate of the virus (Non-inactivated type)
★ Contains virus cleavage and virus nucleic acid preservation solution, which can quickly cleave the virus to release nucleic acid and store the nucleic acid stably (Inactivated type)
1. According to different sampling requirements, use a sampling swab to sample at the corresponding part
2. Place the swab after collecting the sample in a sterile sampling tube
3. Put the swab into the preservation solution and break it from the breaking point
4. Tighten the sterile sampling tube cover
5. Mark the relevant sample information on the label of the sampling tube
Choosing the Best Milk Bottle Material
Breastfeeding is the best for both mother and baby, and should be practiced exclusively for the first six months as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). At some point, most babies will transit to become bottle-fed, be it expressed breast milk or infant formula milk. At that point, what kind of baby bottles should you purchase?
Not all baby bottles are created equal. Like most parents, we want our milk bottles to be safe and non-toxic (e.g. BPA-free, BPS-free, no estrogenic activity etc), but that is not sufficient. We also want a milk bottle that is practical for frequent daily use. This is where the material of your baby’s bottle plays an important part. There are 2 main categories of milk bottles - Glass & Plastic.
Glass has been used as a material for baby bottles for ages and should always be the first choice. At its highest boiling points, borosilicate glass material does not release toxic chemicals or leach and has excellent transparency.
However, the biggest downside of glass bottles is it is heavier and more fragile. An average glass 160ml milk bottle weighs between 200g to 350g. This makes up 10% of a baby’s weight, given that newborn weighs between 2.5 to 3.5 kg! Due to its fragility, you have to be careful not to break or crack the glass when washing. In addition, it is a good practice to always take a good look at the bottle’s surface before use, especially if you use a glass bottle.
Glass would be my first choice for newborns in their first month or two, as feeding will largely be done by the parents. This is when most parents will be more conscientious with washing and sterilising the bottles after each use. Glass however, is not practical. I personally prefer a bottle that can withstand an inevitable drop or slip from either the caretaker or the baby as they grow older. This is one less worry when handling a fussing baby in one hand, and literally, everything else in the other.
While plastic seem more practical than glass, different kinds of plastics can quite different. There are 4 main kind of BPA-free plastic used for baby bottles: TRITAN, PP, PES & PPSU. If the bottle does not indicate the type of plastic, it is likely to be PP.
The biggest problem with plastic bottles is leaching as a result of ageing, wear and tear arising from high temperature and repeated washing with detergents. Given that milk bottles are frequently washed and sterilised using heat, some plastic components breakdown and release harmful chemicals.
Let us next understand more about the differences between these four types of plastics.
Polypropylene (PP) are the most common kind of plastic material used in feeding bottles. They are durable, flexible and economical. They are often used to manufacture household items, PP milk bottles are available in both clear or transparent color-tinted. While PP bottles can withstand temperatures of up to 120°C, they tend to lose transparency over time following repeated sterilization and boiling.
This loss in transparency indicates a change in the physical characteristics of the plastic - something one would shudder at the thought of using it as a milk bottle. For this reason, it is recommended to change your PP milk bottles once every 3 months or once changes in the bottle’s texture or clarity is observed.
Polyethersulphone (PES) is a tougher and safer plastic than PP as it comes from a family of thermoplastic polymers. This means PES can withstand heat as high as 180°C without chemically breaking down. However, as with all plastic, micro scratches from repeated washing increases the crevices that allow milk deposits to sit, causing it even harder to thoroughly clean the bottle over time. In addition, as with all plastics, repeated high temperature will eventually degrade the plastic. Again, it is advisable to change your PES milk bottles less than every 6 months.
PPSU (polyphenylsulfone) is a high performing thermoplastic that is more durable and heat-resistant than PP and PES. Not only that, PPSU plastic does not absorb odor or color. It is naturally BPA free. Due to its even higher melting point than PES, PPSU plastics are commonly used in medical devices requiring repeated sterilization. PPSU material is also microwavable.
The downsides of PPSU is that it has a yellowish tint and is significantly more expensive than PP and PES, hence PPSU products are less frequently used in consumer products. Despite its supreme durability, it is still advisable to change your PPSU milk bottles within a year.
The Advantages or Disadvantages of Bottle Feeding
Bottle feeding is the alternative to breast-feeding. Although formula provides all of the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing to feed a baby with formula. These considerations extend not only to the baby but to the mother as well.
When a baby is formula fed, the parent is able to see exactly how much she drank at each feeding. This is useful because the parent will know how much her baby is eating and how much she needs to feel full. Consequently, the parents will not second guess if the child is getting enough nutrients or gaining weight appropriately.
2. Shared Care
Because the baby is not breast-feeding, she does not have to be with her mother all of the time. When a baby is breast-fed, she needs to be with her mother every two to three hours. However, with baby milk bottle feeding, anyone can feed the baby, and this provides the mother with quite a bit more freedom.
3. Not Altering the Mother's Diet
A mother who formula feeds does not have to worry about her caffeine intake, her alcohol intake or her caloric intake. A nursing mother needs to eat about 500 extra calories a day, so losing the baby weight can take longer and be more difficult. A mom who uses formula can go back to her pre-pregnancy habits sooner.
1.Not as Helpful to Mother's Health
Nursing a baby is very beneficial to a mother's health. According to the Family Doctor website, a mother who breast-feeds is less likely to have breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Additionally, a nursing mother is less likely to deal with post-partum depression or Type 2 diabetes.
Breast milk has been proven to be more nutritious than formula in terms of promoting brain growth. Breast milk is fortified with iron and also provides immunities to the baby for as long as he nurses. Additionally, the baby can easily break down the nutrients, so breast milk is easier on a baby's digestive system than formula, says the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Nursing also provides a tremendous comfort to a baby and can console him when he is sick, upset or dehydrated.
In terms of night feedings, breast-feeding is more convenient. Instead of getting up, going into the kitchen and preparing a bottle, a mother can pull the baby into her bed and relax while he helps himself to the milk.