Posted by @ 11:51 pm on Thursday 18th May, 2017.

I went to Leicester General today for yet another venesection. While I was being bled they gave me my serum ferritin test result for the sample taken prior to the previous venesection performed on 27th April. That result was 427 × 10-6 g/L

Compare that to my serum ferritin test result for the sample taken prior to the outpatient consultation at Leicester Royal only the week before. That result was 366 × 10-6 g/L

That implies an increase of over 16%. With no medication or medical procedure between those tests.

Now, I've taken on board their assertion that they are OK with swings of up to 20% (regardless of whether I'm OK with them), but that applies to things which are supposed to stay fairly constant. In this case, however, we are dealing with something that's supposed to be a reduction protocol. There is no good reason for such an increase, yet I suspect they'll say that it's no cause for concern.

I'm no jerk but I do know the difference between shit and Shinola...


I'll get the result of today's test next Tuesday, and there will be another test prior to next Thursday's out-patient consultation. I reckon that those results will confirm that it's a lab problem rather than anything wrong with me.

It could be an interesting week at University Hospitals of Leicester. If they pin the blame on differences between what goes on at the test labs I'll be lecturing them about calibration, standards, and the like. I'll be on firm ground there. I think that their "swings of up to 20% are OK" assertion is just an arse-covering disclaimer because their labs/tests aren't calibrated against a common standard and hence results from different labs are not comparable.

If I had to put my money on one lab or the other, I'd slap it on the General. They have lots of experience with venesections and associated tests for haemochromatosis patients, and that's why the Royal send me to the General for my bleeds.

But it's the consultants at the Royal who decide on my treatment, and they act on the results of their own tests.

Of course, the usual caveat applies... they can't both be right, but they could both be wrong.

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13 Responses to “Counter-productive”

  1. Glen Rayner says:

    I have recently become a customer of the LRI. A very pleasant professor of genetics is doing a genetic comparison with my (now late) brother and nephew which involves getting genetic material from Stuttgart. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

  2. BG! says:

    Stuttgart? Good luck with that, they aren't good at such logistical things. It took them OVER FIFTEEN WEEKS to get my hospital records from the Royal to the General and they're only about 3 miles apart. It takes me 15- 20 minutes in the car.

    Hope it goes well for you, keep me posted. If we happen to meet there I'll take you for one of their "mostly" halal curries 🙂

  3. Glen Rayner says:

    My Nephew's MLH1 geneteic mutation results have arrived at LRI from Stuttgart. But LRI have also sent me a letter asking me to confirm that I have given them some blood for the comparison. As I gave them this when i saw the genetics Prof. that is worrying.

  4. BG! says:

    It is worrying when they "lose" samples. It seems to happen a lot there. With all of the procedural safeguards in place it shouldn't happen unless someone is ignorant or negligent.

    I hope that you make them sort it out themselves - providing a second sample simply gives them an easy way out, and nothing improves.

  5. Glen Rayner says:

    For my next appointment the NHS algorithm seems to start at the point in Leicestershire furthest from my house and work inwards, I have been offered in sequence Melton, Hinckley, Loughborough. If I turn that down they'll probably make a house call.

  6. BG! says:

    Algorithm? That implies some sort of logic. Either you are deluded or your spell-checker or auto-complete is playing up :mrgreen:

    It's a similar thing to when my Dad needs his hearing-aid air-tube replaced - we have to go chasing the service over hill and down dale. During the last two or three years I've had to take him to The Royal, to a surgery in Braunstone and to a surgery in Syston, and I vaguely remember taking him to Glenfield as well. He lives in Warwickshire and the closest hospitals are The Eliot in Nuneaton and The Wally in Coventry but he's never sent to either of those. It takes at least half a day of travelling and waiting, and three quid to park the car, to get a three-minute session where a new bit of plastic tubing about two inches long is fitted, tubing that probably costs about 10p a yard and which could be fitted by anyone with scissors, two fingers, two thumbs and one eye. I'm told that the procedure could be done easily at his local GP surgery, where they have many such people and which is a mere five-minute walk from his house, but the powers-that-be refuse to send any of the tubing there.

    They don't like us to waste their time and money, but they have no qualms whatsoever about wasting ours.

  7. Glen Rayner says:

    @BG! - I have now spent an uncomfortable couple of hours at Loughborough hospital. I never got the phone call I was promised to make the appointment a date just arrived in the post. The staff there were friendly and efficient, and the good news is they won't need to see me again.Now I have to persuade my sister to get herself checked .

  8. BG! says:

    So can we assume that you are in rude health, Glen?

  9. Glen Rayner says:

    @BG! - Well I'm not going the same way as my Brother did in February. Tomorrow I'm having eye no2 lasered to alleviate Ocular Hypertension which is another genetic inheritance.

  10. Glen Rayner says:

    @Glen Rayner - The genetic results are in. I don't have the same genetic marker for Lynch's Syndrome that took my brother and that his son has. The genetics professor at LRI is going to test my late father's genetic material to try to find if that's how my brother received it.
    On the negative Celia has fallen victim of her family's genetic inheritance and has been diagnosed as Coeliac.
    It's no fun getting old, but better than the alternative.

  11. ChrisP says:

    Hi Glen, sorry to hear that. I hope that your sister has been checked and that they have a monitoring program in place for your nephew. Please pass on my best wishes to Celia. Ella's boyfriend Chris has discovered that he is gluten intolerant (not quite the same thing as Coeliac I know) so I am now trying to find recipes for gluten free biscuits and stollen as he really misses them. I have found a magazine called Gluten-Free Heaven that may be helpful - I just need to find time for a baking session!

  12. Glen Rayner says:

    @ChrisP - as a result we now have a 2nd toaster, a 2nd breadmaker, a subscription to Amazon prime (best source of reasonably priced gluten-free) (but I get to see The Man in the High Castle), and tickets to the gluten free show in Liverpool next month., as well as a growing library of new cookbooks.

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