The Indiana Chapter of the

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

  • December 15, 2020 1:26 PM | Daniella McCurdy (Administrator)

    Here is the information that the CDC has posted so far on what you need to know about the new COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

  • November 02, 2020 12:40 PM | Daniella McCurdy (Administrator)
    • We are looking for 5 professionals to lecture a 1 credit hour PACE session on the topic of their choosing at the ASCLS-IN Annual Meeting next spring. Date tentatively set for Friday March 26th, 2021. If you are interested please let us know!
    • We are planning to hold the 2021 ASCLS-IN Networking Event at Indiana City Brewery on the evening of Thursday March 25th, 2021.
    • The Lab Week Walk/Run had a great turn out of both professionals and students this year. Thank you to everyone who turned out to socialize with their fellow CLS students and professionals on that brisk mid-day walk!
    • ASCLS-IN website will be switching platforms in 2021 to a microsite through the ASCLS national’s website platform.
    • The reward recipient of the ASCLS-IN Scholarship received her second installment of $500 for maintaining employment in Indiana after graduation.
    • The ASCLS-IN and CICBF scholarship application deadlines for this year have been moved to December 1st, 2020.
  • October 29, 2020 12:53 PM | Daniella McCurdy (Administrator)

    As we are moving closer to November many of us never could have imagined that we would still be waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine to be made available to the public. It seems that this year's fall and winter holiday season will be much more complicated than usual; with wearing masks, washing hands, hand sanitizer, and 6 feet distancing practices all being a normal occurrence at the moment.  We may now have another preventative measure we can take this winter to protect those we love from the silent transmission of this virus.

    Mouthwashes, Oral Rinses May Inactivate Human Coronaviruses

    October 19th,2020

    Penn State

    HERSHEY, PA — Certain oral antiseptics and mouthwashes may have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, according to a Penn State College of Medicine research study. The results indicate that some of these products might be useful for reducing the viral load, or amount of virus, in the mouth after infection and may help to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    Craig Meyers, distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology and obstetrics and gynecology, led a group of physicians and scientists who tested several oral and nasopharyngeal rinses in a laboratory setting for their ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, which are similar in structure to SARS-CoV-2. The products evaluated include a one percent solution of baby shampoo, a neti pot, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwashes.

    The researchers found that several of the nasal and oral rinses had a strong ability to neutralize human coronavirus, which suggests that these products may have the potential to reduce the amount of virus spread by people who are COVID-19-positive.

    "While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed," Meyers said. "The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people's daily routines."

    Meyers and colleagues used a test to replicate the interaction of the virus in the nasal and oral cavities with the rinses and mouthwashes. Nasal and oral cavities are major points of entry and transmission for human coronaviruses. They treated solutions containing a strain of human coronavirus, which served as a readily available and genetically similar alternative for SARS-CoV-2, with the baby shampoo solutions, various peroxide antiseptic rinses, and various brands of mouthwash. They allowed the solutions to interact with the virus for 30 seconds, one minute, and two minutes, before diluting the solutions to prevent further virus inactivation. According to Meyers, the outer envelopes of the human coronavirus tested and SARS-CoV-2 are genetically similar, so the research team hypothesizes that a similar amount of SARS-CoV-2 may be inactivated upon exposure to the solution.

    To measure how much virus was inactivated, the researchers placed the diluted solutions in contact with cultured human cells. They counted how many cells remained alive after a few days of exposure to the viral solution and used that number to calculate the amount of human coronavirus that was inactivated as a result of exposure to the mouthwash or oral rinse that was tested. The results were published in the Journal of Medical Virology.

    The one percent baby shampoo solution, which is often used by head and neck doctors to rinse the sinuses, inactivated greater than 99.9 percent of human coronavirus after a two-minute contact time. Several of the mouthwash and gargle products also were effective at inactivating the infectious virus. Many inactivated greater than 99.9 percent of virus after only 30 seconds of contact time and some inactivated 99.99 percent of the virus after 30 seconds.

    According to Meyers, the results with mouthwashes are promising and add to the findings of a study showing that certain types of oral rinses could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in similar experimental conditions. In addition to evaluating the solutions at longer contact times, they studied over-the-counter products and nasal rinses that were not evaluated in the other study. Meyers said the next step to expand upon these results is to design and conduct clinical trials that evaluate whether products like mouthwashes can effectively reduce viral load in COVID-19-positive patients.

    "People who test positive for COVID-19 and return home to quarantine may possibly transmit the virus to those they live with," said Meyers, a researcher at Penn State Cancer Institute. "Certain professions including dentists and other health care workers are at a constant risk of exposure. Clinical trials are needed to determine if these products can reduce the amount of virus COVID-positive patients or those with high-risk occupations may spread while talking, coughing, or sneezing. Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50 percent, it would have a major impact."

    Future studies may include a continued investigation of products that inactive human coronaviruses and what specific ingredients in the solutions tested inactivate the virus.

    - This press release was originally published on the Penn State Website

  • August 21, 2020 1:21 PM | Daniella McCurdy (Administrator)

    ASCLS Today

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    Visit the above links for more news from ASCLS!
  • February 10, 2019 8:27 PM | Norma Erickson

    When I was “growing up” as a laboratory student in Indiana in 1970, there was a name synonymous with blood banking --Narcissa Hocker. Narcy, as she was known to her friends, was the supervisor of the blood bank at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. Her reputation as the queen of blood banking was known throughout the state. She retired in 1992 as Emeritus Associate Professor from the IU School of Medicine. Even after her retirement, she was still involved in the blood bank at IUMC, returning weekly to help record data and teach students laboratory technique. At the age of 95, she died on May 26, 2018. On February 5, 2019, the IUPUI Faculty Council honored her with a memorial resolution.

    Narcissa Hocker, 1965  Narcy was a great supporter of the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis, the oldest preserved pathology laboratory in the US. In 2005, as part of the Museum’s celebration of National Laboratory Professionals Week program, she participated in a panel discussion that recalled the early years of training for medical technologists. In the discussion, she revealed two things that have stuck with me over the years. 1) Her first career choice was physician--she wanted to be a missionary doctor, but was advised to become a medical technologist instead; 2) during a time when laboratory workers wore white nurse’s uniforms and white shoes (no nurse’s cap, of course), they frequently tucked a floral handkerchief loosely in their front pocket so a burst of color would pop out. Narcy said the all-white uniforms were so boring.

    IU Medical Technology Class 1945-46

    IU Nursing Students with caps, no date given 

    Hocker, Sandra Rothenberger, Gayola Beach, 1970

    I have no doubt that Narcy would have helped many people as a missionary doctor, but her work in transfusion medicine touched many lives also, as you can read in the Council’s memorial resolution. The laboratory profession and the School  were immeasurably fortunate to have her.

    My interpretation of the bright handkerchiefs? I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t another reason for the colorful display. I later learned that Narcy was not the only woman who received that same career advice. Perhaps these lively, dedicated, science-loving women were not merely making a fashion statement. Perhaps they were saying “I am a woman in white...but I am not a nurse.”

    I recently found some of my mother’s flowery handkerchiefs when cleaning out her house. I don't have a front pocket anymore, but maybe I’ll just pin on one of those handkerchiefs during Lab Week. If anyone asks, I can tell them about Narcy and her fellow women in white.

    Narcy Examining the Blood Supply, ca.1945 (with a handkerchief in her front pocket)

    All photos from Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives

    University Library, IUPUI

  • December 21, 2018 10:53 AM | Norma Erickson

    ASCLS follows up its position paper on the laboratory workforce shortage by posting fourteen position statements meant to offer solutions for the problem. Number ten addresses laboratory certification as essential for "appropriately educated and adequately trained staff." The program directors of Indiana’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) programs team up form the Consortium of Indiana Medical Laboratory Educators (CIMLE), a non-profit educational organization. The Consortium offers a one day comprehensive review course for Clinical Laboratory Science. Presenters are current or past instructors for clinical laboratory science programs in Indiana. The review course targets students currently enrolled in laboratory science clinical programs who are preparing to sit for national certification exams after graduation.  They also participate in a match process to place students in the best programs for their needs.

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ASCLS-IN is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, Indiana

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