Here is a recent comment from my friend and colleague, Dan Southern, Professor Emeritus, Western Carolina University:
Hey, George, I read the piece that Kevin McGlinchey wrote for your blog. I have dealt with Kevin and he is very easy to work with. He understands the restraints of academe and realizes the future is our students.
I was one of the first educators to use the Trinity KC1 Delta for student labs in 2002. I was losing my collection of hand-me-down Fibrometers at a rate of two per year due to malfunction, bad incubators and age. At the time, Trinity had just purchased the coagulation division of Sigma Biologicals. I dealt directly with their national office in St. Louis and was able to negotiate a good deal for a six-pack. My idea was to have one KC1 for each of six students and use may remaininge Fibrometers for the other four or five. My administration failed to provide us with the money promised to buy all six; I only got enough money to buy one. The folks at Trinity were very nice and allowed me to buy KC1s one at a time for the same price ($600) individually as the six pack would have cost ($2400). My department head put one KC1 in the budget for each of the next five years. Sadly, the budget in NC became terrible and I only got to buy two more over the next three years before I retired.
Using the KC1 and Fibrometers side by side with the students was interesting. It takes longer to do a PT or PTT with the KC1, however, the KC1 did not malfunction and we all know the frustrations of using a Fibrometer when they “clunk” and don’t work right. Some students preferred the Fibrometer because it was quicker. Other students preferred the KC1 because it gave the same results for duplicate testing of level I and III each time. I felt the KC1 is a great replacement for the Fibrometers and they are affordable for most of the programs. They are as great a teaching tool as the Fibrometer used to be. A big advantage to the KC1 was the fact that you could use any brand of coagulation reagents. In education, we often rely on hand me down reagents that are slightly outdated, but still viable. We do not always have money to buy reagent specific supplies for instruments. I found the directions for using the KC1 were a bit overwhelming for the students and myself. So, I wrote my own techniques for using the instruments for each of the tests we did in the student labs, mainly PT, PTT and TCT.
Trinity Biotech is leading the way in providing instruments that allow educators the tools they need to teach this very difficult and essential area of hemostasis testing. When students enter the clinical environment and begin to use the larger clinical instruments they can relate to what the instrument is doing at the push of a button.
Dan Southern, Professor Emeritus, Western Carolina University