what lab managers should know about immunosuppressant monitoring
When using immunosuppressant drugs as an organ transplant recipient, it is crucial to effectively and consistently monitor drug levels. This requires therapeutic drug monitoring and an understanding of requirements and best practices for therapeutic drug monitoring in the laboratory.
Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is used by lab managers to monitor and maintain drug levels within a given window. The concentration range where the drug does the most with minimum effects is the therapeutic window. Immunosuppressant monitoring is mainly used for drugs that are used on a long-term basis. TDM is carried out by taking skin and blood micro samples.
There are many stakeholders when it comes to immunosuppressant monitoring and lab directors and managers play an important role in the entire process. Most hospitals are outsourcing their services to diagnostic laboratories. There are several benefits of outsourcing and using micro samples.
- Through outsourcing, lab managers make their services more accessible to patients. The turnaround time for getting results is reduced and clinical decisions can be made timely. Patients will not have to wait for long periods to get diagnosed and have their drugs altered.
- The availability of point-of-care devices that make it easier to collect micro samples make the process less invasive. Patients can get monitored remotely through the use of these devices. Neoteryx has created a blood micro sampling device that patients can use to take their samples then have them sent to the pathologist. This makes it comfortable for donors who find the experience less intrusive.
Traditional sampling methods can be very intrusive especially for the elderly who might have collapsed veins.
- Through dried blood micro sampling, lab managers can take samples without worrying about compromising the health of the patient. Traditional methods account for 2% loss in blood volume which is a big number when it comes to ICU and pediatric patients. The blood is dried and this makes it easier to transport without worrying that the sample will be compromised.
Emerging technologies in pathology have made it easier for lab managers to do their jobs. With point-of-care micro sampling devices, it is easier for immunosuppressant monitoring to be done. Patients also have improved medical care and can get more detailed diagnosis and treatment. If there are any adverse reactions to the drugs, they can have them changed before any damage occurs.