Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'healthcare'.
The search index is currently processing. Current results may not be complete.
Having spent 35 years working in laboratories in the U. S. I was I curious about the laboratory testing in Panama, and Boquete in particular. I've used two laboratories in town, and spoken with my doctors about their concerns or recommendations. The following are suggestions for those of you who are used to laboratories in the U. S., there are differences. In the U.S. when you get your blood drawn, or drop off a specimen, you are asked to identify the labels they will place on your specimens. Name, birthdate, ID number of some sort. Then the date and time are written on the specimen. This label is basically a UPC code. With few exceptions, all analyzing equipment in the U. S. simply reads the barcode, sees what tests are ordered, mechanically opens the tube, analyzes, then sends the results to a computer where a human reviews abnormal results and repeats any abnormals. The technologists barely touch the tube other than to assure there is sufficient sample. This is because of OSHA, who forced labs to reduce exposure to AIDS and hepatitis, etc. Normal results are released with no review and go straight into the patient's record. So, for most laboratory testing, it is extremely hard to get incorrect results, as long as you verify your OWN name. Many of the procedures I'm describing here have been in use for the last 25 years. I was a manager at LabCorp in Houston, we received over 50,000 test tubes each day. We had to use these techniques or there would have been no way to type each name in before we even began the testing process. Americans do a LOT of labs. Now, I'll compare with Panama. First, let me assure you, their equipment is relatively modern. Equipment I used in smaller hospitals and labs. Here, they simply do not add on the barcode readers, computer interfaces, automatic test tube openers, and other "safety" and convenience items . The tests procedures are the same. Glucoses are glucoses, the same chemical reagents as are used anywhere in the world. So, why do you care? It comes to two things I've observed. No one asks your name, just scribble it on in light pencil or ink. They also use test tubes here that do not allow for the blood specimens to have the luxury of sitting on the counter, untested, for more than an hour. A glucose that isn't tested within an hour will quickly degrade from very high, to normal or even low. Other analytes, such as potassium will go higher the longer they sit. I cannot confirm the tests here aren't run in a timely manner, but will tell you, my fasting blood sugar has been 105-110 for years. Here, my glucose was reported 76, and surprisingly, that was nearly exactly the same value my husband got that day. Our A1Cs were also identical, mine low for the first time in years. The problem, no doubt, our specimens were misidentified. So, I recommend these three basic things you can do proactively. Ask to confirm the names on your specimens before they leave your sight. NEVER have your labs done on the same day as your relatives with the same last name, if you can avoid it. Look at your results as soon as possible, the same day is best. If anything looks odd for your history, ask them to repeat it, either with the old blood they saved in their refrigerator for 5 days, or ask to be redrawn and retested. The last advice, always drink plenty of water before going in for fasting blood tests. Often they will tell you , nothing by mouth, when water is not only allowed it is necessary to find your veins easily. Black coffee and sugarless tea are also acceptable. I hope to update this after visiting the laboratories located in the David hospitals. They may be altogether different.
This is the ninth in a series of audio podcasts by Chiriqui.Life. The subjects of this podcast are Keep It Simple, Panama (a healthcare advocacy business), and Rodny Direct, (a subscription-based Emergency Helpline Service). Irma Smith is the representative for Keep It Simple Panama; Rodny Moreno is the representative for Rodny Direct. Irma and Rodny were invited to speak at the Tuesday Morning Meeting series on July 25, 2017. Here is a link to the meeting announcement: http://www.chiriqui.life/calendar/event/829-tuesday-talks-at-bcp-keep-it-simple-panama-aseguradora-la-floresta/. Introduction After the usual announcements at the beginning of the weekly BCP Tuesday Morning Meetings, emcee Nikki Steele introduced Irma Smith and Rodny Moreno for this well-attended presentation. It was a standing room only event, with not one unused seat and many people sitting on the floor and standing around the railings in the theater. This posting documents that meeting, including the contact information, the presentation materials, a picture, and an audio recording of the presentations and Q&A session. Contact Information Irma C. Smith Keep It Simple Panama, INC +507 6705-9845 (cell phone) +507 730-5263 (office) EmaiL: firstname.lastname@example.org Rodny Moreno Rodny Direct +507 6573-0141 email: email@example.com www.rodnydirect.com Presentation Materials Click Here to download a PDF format of the presentation materials used by Irma for her discussion about healthcare advocacy. Next is a brochure that was handed out at this presentation. Audio Podcast To listen to this Keep It Simple Panama and the Rodny Direct audio podcast, click below on the white, right-pointing triangle (arrow) on top of an orange circular background. If you see two options below, we recommend using the "Listen in browser" option as opposed to the "Play on SoundCloud" option. The podcast is 1h 26s duration. If you would like to provide feedback about this podcast, or discuss other matters related to this podcast series, please either reply to this posting, or send CL Staff a private message (@Moderator_02 is the correct display name to communicate with), or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to share this podcast with family and friends, simply provide them the following URL, but remember that CL membership is required to view this content: http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/6716-chiriquilife-podcast-09-bcp-tuesday-talks-irma-smith-of-keep-it-simple-panama-and-rodny-moreno-of-rodny-direct/