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Blood Bank Testing Equipment


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We are looking to purchase testing equipment for our blood banks and will need a mix of fully and semi-automated based on site volume. Looking for feedback from folks on BioRad (IH500 and Saxo Reader), Grifols (Erytra) , Ortho (Vision and workstation) and Immucor (Echo Lumina). We also want middleware for both fully and semi-automated systems. Why did you choose the platform you did? Any regrets? Any happy surprises?

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We've been happily using an Echo for about 9 years. The instrument has been very dependable and is a workhorse. The turn around time for antibody screens is quick. Its footprint is not that large and it fits under our overhead cabinets easily. The test strips store at room temp, so that is an advantage for us. The mechanical part of the instrument is pretty basic with quite a few user replaceable parts. We've had good luck problem solving with a call to support and those times we actually need service, we haven't had to wait long to get an engineer on site even though we are in a rural area a long way from a larger airport. It's a quick train for new users with some nice features to prevent the kind of dumb mistakes that we humans can make. The method is sensitive - you will see more warm autos and anti-D from RhIG, but it is also going to do a great job picking up Jk and Fy antibodies. The cells on the ID panels (3 of them) are well selected. Immucor has tweaked the methodology over the years so that you aren't going to see many non-specific reactions. When we first started using the Echo nine years ago there were more of those types of reactions. When we automated I chose to switch to the Echo from manual gel. During validation I was pleased with the sensitivity compared to gel. We use DI for our middleware.

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We have two IH 1000.  BioRad has been great to work with.

They are workhorses. 

They are complicated and tend to have a fair amount of downtime.

Many years ago when we first introduced automation it was solid phase.  A lot of our patients were then coming up D positive (D neg history) as the methodology was a lot more sensitive than tube.  The same thing happened a few years ago when we switched to gel.

You'll also pick up more colds and junk with gel.

Overall we're happy.  We might consider an IH 500 someday for the titers.

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I am getting ready to install an ECHO Lumina.   Just had our initial set up meeting yesterday.  Switching from gel to solid phase.

Looking forward to a bit more standardization in this department.  We use DI but the ECHO also comes with its own middleware (or so I believe).

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