View this email in your browser                 Wish to subscribe? Subscribe here

Wellington SCL Clinical Newsletter - August 2016

Please forward this email to all clinical staff

Please find this month's latest update from your laboratory provider, Wellington SCL.  In this newsletter we cover:
  • Wellington SCL website
  • Change in molecular herpes swabs 
  • Update to critical action limits 
  • Merging test requests for patients presenting with multiple request forms 
  • BRAF and EGFR mutation analysis
  • 1% price increase for non-DHB funded tests
  • Don't forget to test for HIV
  • Wairarapa courier collection schedule changes 

Wellington SCL Website 

Wellington SCL was established on 1 November 2015 including a new website
If you are using a web browser bookmark to reach us it might be using the old Aotea Pathology website. Wellington SCL has been temporarily redirecting visitors from to our new site.

To ensure that you are able to find us easily when this redirect ends please update you bookmarks to the new website address.

Change In Molecular Herpes Swabs 

Please note we will be switching from the long dry flocked swabs to Universal Transport Media tubes (Copan UTM) for Herpes Simplex/Varicella Zoster PCR testing.

Why: This change is to standardise the collection kits used for molecular tests. The UTM kits can be used for Herpes Simplex PCR testing, Bordetella pertussis, Measles and Influenza PCR.

Please note testing for Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are done on the Aptima swabs, DO NOT use the UTM swabs for Chlamydia and N. gonorrhoeae testing.

What you have to do: We will continue to supply the dry flocked swabs until our stocks are used up. Once depleted we will supply you with UTM swabs.

You can continue to send dry flocked swabs (unexpired) for testing until your stocks have been finished.   Please contact our Molecular Biology Department on 04 918 5314 for further information. 

Update To Critical Action Limits

Critical action limits indicate when a clinician will be phoned or faxed with a markedly significant result.  The list of critical action tests can be found on our website or see below 
Critical Action Limits document 


Merging Test Requests For Patients Presenting With Multiple Request Forms  

Following feedback from clinicians and patients regarding Wellington SCL’s policy of merging requests when a patient presents with more than one request form, we are pleased to inform you that from 21 September 2016 all requests will be treated as separate episodes.  This will mean that you will only receive results for the tests you have requested, or have been copied into at the request of another clinician.
This change has taken some time to implement due to the laboratory software changes required.  

BRAF and EGFR Mutation Analysis 

BRAF Mutation Analysis is no longer performed at Wellington SCL.  All BRAF requests are now referred to IGENZ Auckland and are performed using the Agena Mass Array System. Because this test is now performed by another provider results may take longer than previously.  

In September 2016 EGFR Mutation Analysis will also be performed at IGENZ.

For further information please visit: or for enquiries contact or phone 09 3073981

1% Price Increase For Non-DHB Funded Tests

From the 1st of August 2016 the cost of all non-DHB funded tests increased by 1%.
Please refer to our website for the updated price list. 

Don't Forget To Test For HIV

We have noticed that doctors often test for EBV, toxo or CMV when seeing a local patient with fevers, lymphadenopathy or rashes. The range gets extended to arboviruses (eg dengue or zika), lyme disease or others when travel is mentioned. Please don’t forget to test for HIV when considering viral illness or chronic, perplexing symptoms. There is highly effective treatment available, and HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B can all cause enigmatic symptoms. It is important to diagnose these treatable infections. They should be considered to be normal mainstream tests when investigating symptomatic people.
Informed consent is easy. Insurance companies no longer exclude treated patients with HIV. Consent for HIV testing is the same as it is for any other test.
We estimate that there are approximately 75 people with undiagnosed HIV infection in the Wellington region, and every year we see apparently low risk people diagnosed after several clinic or hospital attendances. Many have acquired HIV in NZ. Also be aware that syphilis is an increasingly common cause of non-itchy rashes, and is another disease that should not be forgotten.  Testing an adult for HIV rather than Toxo and CMV is better testing behaviour!

Please see the recent article published in the New Zealand Doctor dated 17 August 2016
on a young NZ woman who has recently died from AIDS because no-one tested her for HIV despite being unwell for a long time but was seen as low risk.

For further information please contact:
Dr Tim Blackmore, 
Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Physician

Wairarapa Courier Collection Schedule Changes 

From the 5th September 2016 the number of courier collections to the medical centres in the Wairarapa region will increase.  We will be in touch shortly with the revised courier schedule for all Wairarapa medical centres.
Copyright © Wellington SCL, All rights reserved.

You have received this email because you are a registered user of Wellington SCL services.

Please add us to your address book.
Our mailing address is:

Wellington SCL 
Level 5, CSB 
Riddiford Street 
Wish to unsubscribe? Unsubscribe here   Wish to subscribe? Subscribe here
Update subscription preferences here

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Wellington SCL · Level 5, CSB Block · Riddiford Street, Newtown · Wellington, Wgn 6011 · New Zealand

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp