Using the Hidex AMG for GFR testing on blood samples
6 December 2021
Mark Richardson (left), Head of Nuclear Medicine and Andrew Bussey (right), Clinical Scientist, with their Hidex AMG
James Cook Hospital acquire the Hidex Automatic Gamma Counter
The Nuclear Medicine Department at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough are using the Hidex AMG to undertake GFR testing on blood samples. Andrew Bussey is a clinical scientist and a key member of the team working with the new instrument and he explained how the department is using it and the benefits the AMG has brought to their operation:
"It's been a definite improvement over the old system that we had, which was installed in the 1990’s. So, to move to a digital system which links to all our equipment, and can automatically export results has been great, as it has cut down the amount of time that used to be required to transcribe from paper, etc."
Simplifying the process
"The AMG’s main role is to support our GFR tests. We just put the samples in, click play, and away it goes. Then the results are automatically exported and as they come through, we process them. The old system ran MS DOS with just a keyboard interface to input instructions manually. It was a real effort. We also had to train staff intensively to do it as the old system had many quirks which operators had to recognise and counter. The AMG is incredibly easy to operate, even for new starters. We've already set up the racks we want - labelled accordingly - so staff undertaking the tests just need to drop the samples in the right slot in the rack, press play and the instrument handles everything else for them really."
A real time saver
"The old instrument would have just produced data of the first sample counted and the results, then the second sample and results. Someone would then have to go back and look at what was on the actual tray and match them up to the relevant sample. It was very time consuming."
Built in functions speed up day to day operations
"The automated QC and auto calibration functions are particularly useful. On the old system we’d have to do that manually as well. We’d come to a known source and then manually compare it against all of them as to what it should be. The AMG has the QC feature built in, which is great. We’ve got a couple of Caesium sources for very long-lived radioactive isotopes, so at the start of every day we just run that, and it measures and checks all the normal performance metrics. It’s measuring as much radioactivity as it expects, it takes the energy of the sources it expects and if it’s not, it recalibrates itself to match what you’re expecting."
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