How it’s used
Clinical labs test osmolality of serum, plasma and urine because it provides information on the body’s hydration state to detect the presence of toxins and to monitor patients receiving osmotically active drug therapies. It is a valuable clinical tool in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
About osmolality in Clinical
Osmolality is a fundamental measurement of the total solute concentration of body fluids, including but not limited to serum, plasma, urine, whole blood and stool. Measuring osmolality is critical when you suspect toxin ingestion, electrolyte disorders and metabolic acidosis. Osmolality testing as an initial screening can help reduce cost and improve quality of care*.
Read all about Freezing Point technology in Clinical in this white paper compiled by Advanced Instruments.
*The Value of osmolality Testing; Neville R. Dossabhoy, MD, FACP, FASN, Consultant Nephrologist
Prevent your workflow from FREEZING
We probably all have worked with an older osmometer (older than 10 years). Either it is the only one in the lab or it is the backup instrument. It might seem beneficial to keep your older osmometer in use, however, there are some risks to consider when trusting your dated osmometer.
In this blog Vérène Heijt, Product Specialist I&L Biosystems BeNeLux, tells you all about the risks of using a dated osmometer.
Every day in the lab is a busy day. You test the control solutions and start measuring the samples that have been collected. Sometimes just a few, sometimes dozens at a time. Because of the pressure you don’t have time to be too critical on the instrument you use, as long as it works it’s okay for you. And then there is a malfunction…
Which malfunctions can you expect from an older osmometer?
More errors due to older parts like:
- Results that are not repeatable.
- Samples that do not freeze or pre-freeze.
- More time needed for analyses.
- Other failures that start to reoccur for no apparent reason.
How do you recognize a dated osmometer?
- More downtime:
Often you hear, time is money. This is also the case in a lab. Downtime is a waste of time and time is always scarce. You can lose time with several minor errors or one major malfunction that takes more time to resolve. Older osmometers become less reliable.
- Spare parts are no longer available:
When your system is older than 10 years, often the manufacturer has no more spare parts. So when you would need a repair, this might not be possible, forcing you to make a quick decision for a replacement.
- Loss of data:
Newer osmometers have larger storage capacity (up to 1000 samples). Also, it is always possible to connect your new device to a LIS system. This way, you will have a double back-up of your important patients data.
- Outdated data integrity and security risks:
New systems give you the possibility to work in operator and supervisor modes. You can track who did a measurement and you can lock your system with a password. Also the newer systems fully comply with GDPR.
How can you prevent your workflow from freezing?
- Yearly preventive maintenance.
- Replace your osmometer in time.
- Reserve budget for quick replacement.
- Keep yourself up to date about the features of the newest models.
- Availability of a backup unit within the organization.
The benefits of a new osmometer:
- Improved workflow and short test times so you can maximize your productivity.
- Easy to use, training is almost unnecessary.
- Many connectivity options.
- Small sample requirement.
Now that you know all this, the most important question to ask yourself: is my workflow for testing osmolality still reliable? Or is it reaching its Freezing Point?
Check out the osmometers from our partner in osmolality: Advanced Instruments. We know you will have state of the art osmometry equipment. The osmometers from Advanced Instruments meet the latest requirement on data integrity and security for your patients results. Advanced Instruments has over 60 years of experience and is an early pioneer in the field of osmometry. With all that experience, they have become a trusted, valuable reference in the science of osmolality testing.
Osmolality & COVID-19
The valuable role of osmolality testing in COVID-19
A Scientific Resource from Advanced Instruments
Osmolality testing can help with early diagnosis and etiological determination of hyponatremia, which is critical for this patient population.
Recent publications have shown that COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), is associated with electrolyte disorders including hyponatremia. Early diagnosis and etiologic determination are critical in any hyponatremic patient to ensure proper treatment and to avoid potential harm to the patient.
Osmolality testing is quick, inexpensive and effective to help with early detection and diagnosis of hyponatremia. Osmolality testing can help ensure that appropriate treatment strategies are implemented early for hyponatremic patients which may be even more significant in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. As clinicians and researchers continue to expand their understanding of COVID-19, additional laboratory testing is important to consider to help better understand and diagnose a COVID-19 patient’s underlying conditions.