From Jim Turner: Hey Mr Fritsma! Great site and I really like the longer hair! I now work for TriMedX. I am one of their clinical engineers here in Birmingham at St Vincent's Medical Center. I (and others) are having a problem with this platelet activity instrument called the VerifyNow. The heaters on these things go out constantly and then it takes the company up to 3 months to repair them and get them back to us. The company does not offer repair training and does not sell us parts. Do you know of another system or methodology that offers surgery units these results with more reliable equipment? I did offer the good ole bleeding time test as an alternative which was not received well. (LOL).
Hi, Jim, it is great to "hear" from you, and thanks for the compliment on my hair! It has been this way for a while, but I decided I should face reality and post a new picture when we enhanced the web site! By the way, although I'm sponsored by Precision BioLogic Inc in Dartmouth, near Halifax, I'm still living and working in Birmingham, Alabama, where the temperature today is colder than Nova Scotia!
On to your question. I'm surprised you are having this problem with the Accumetrics VerifyNow instrument, I'd not previously heard of any instability with their heating device. I presume you have the instruments on surge protectors or uninterruptible power supplies; nevertheless, I wonder if there are local power surge or slump problems. I guess that if there were, you'd be having similar problems with other instruments. Accumetrics was recently purchased by International Technidyne Corporation (ITC) and the new company is renamed Accriva, however their location and services are the same, so the merger should not be affecting their service. Perhaps someone from Accriva will see this post and get in touch with us.
Meanwhile, there is currently no other POC instrument available to check on low platelet response to aspirin, clopidogrel, or glycoprotein inhibitor therapy. One day soon, perhaps, Roche will start a US launch of the Multiplate, manufactured in Germany and currently sold in Europe, but it is currently unavailable. As an alternative, your central laboratory can offer platelet aggregometry, but that doesn't help of course when anesthesiologists require instant feedback. An alternative instrument used in many operating rooms is the Thromboelastograph (TEG ) or its competitor, the ROTEM rotational thromboelastometry instrument, both of which provide a global coagulation pattern that reflects platelet function. They require a little more training than the Accumetrics instrument, but also provide information on the effects of heparin and fibrinolytic therapy. Chances are, your anesthesiologists are familiar with them. I hope this helps, and best wishes to you and your family!