Set up heparin assay protocols quickly and remotely

The NHS has announced that heparin is to be trialled on critically-ill COVID-19 patients, putting more pressure on laboratories to set up new anti-Xa assay protocols. Stago UK is able to help remotely using its Connect.One data sharing middleware.

 “This can all be carried out within 20 minutes and laboratory staff need only be present to accept the remote connection,” said product manager Dr Alex Stephenson-Brown. “Our remote engineering and support service makes it unnecessary for an application specialist to visit the laboratory to set up the protocols.”

Connect.One is part of One by Stago, the company’s data analysis and information management system. This uses the most secure Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) block chain technology to encrypt all data transferred between the device and Stago’s servers, and ensures total anonymity of patient and laboratory data.

Anti-Xa provides a more effective way to measure unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) than routine APTT. Laboratories have started adding this assay to their testing menu since evidence emerged that this may offer a better outcome to patients with a severe immune reaction. Stago offers a range of free educational material on all aspects of coagulation. Its Quick Guide to Heparin Monitoring is available to download at the link below.

“Due to the high levels of factor VIII in these patients, traditional APTT monitoring is not suitable for measuring UFH. As a result, laboratories have been advised to switch to measuring UFH by the anti-Xa method,” explained Dr Stephenson-Brown.

“The STA liquid anti-Xa assay is designed to better reflect the in vivo action of heparin on the patient and we offer eight variants including two parameters within our Qualiris EQA compliance programme.”

Stago recently opened up its EQA scheme for the anti-Xa based measurement of UFH to help all laboratories (not just its own customers) with the assay’s verification and validation. Offered on a first come, first served basis, laboratories just have to email and a member of the Stago COVID-19 team will be in touch to make arrangements.

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