December 2021: Holiday Edition

by Donna Castellone, MS, MT (ASCP) SH • December 08, 2021

The interpretations below are provided by Donna Castellone, MS, MT (ASCP) SH for Aniara Diagnostica.

Hemostasis is about maintaining the balance between bleeding and clotting. Writing this blog, I try to maintain a balance also, and keep topics current and varied. The past two years, since COVID and its impact on the laboratory and coagulation, it felt like there was plenty of information to provide and yet I tried to stay current with other topics. So I checked, only 8 posts were related to COVID, the other included other coagulation issues. But I did miss my holiday edition last year, so this year I decided to revise the Christmas poem, with of course a little COVID twist.


'Twas the year after COVID and all through the universe The virus was still spreading, it seemed such a curse The vaccines were administered from age 5 and on, In hopes that SARs-Cov-2 might soon be gone

The children were back in the classrooms at school. While indoor activities were becoming the rule Most people in their masks, and with their PPE Had just settled down for the holiday, hopefully COVID free

When out in the laboratory there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bench to see what was the matter. Away to the analyzer I flew like a flash, Tore open the cover and threw up the sash.

The samples for COVID testing were running along And gave the impression that results wouldn’t be long, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a new strain of COVID, with mutations we fear!

With a batch of PCR testing, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it would detect COVID lick-ity split. More rapid than eagles the detection they came, And the analyzer whistled, and shouted, and called the mutations by name;

"Now, DELTA! now, ALPHA ! now, GAMMA and LAMBDA! On, Mu! on Etta! on, Omicron and Cappa! To find the mutations, specific sequencing is done Hopefully mutations will dash away – or the virus will have won-

As the Coagulation laboratory keep testing away, PT, aPTT, D-dimer, fibrinogen and platelets every day. And Special Coagulation testing for AT, von Willebrand and HIT COVID patients and inflammation are just the right fit.

And then, after research a year ago this time The waiting and wanting of each little rhyme. As we waited, and hoped that COVID would turn around, Down the chimney Moderna and Pfizer came with a bound.

They were dressed in mRNA, to produce a spike protein, Two doses recommended, that is the routine; And now to stop the spread a booster after month six, Trying to stay ahead of mutations and their rotten little tricks.

Their antibodies -- how they produced! Our immune system will fight! The side effects were minimal, your arm a little tight People would still not want to comply with the shot, And as a result, more mutations we got!

So COVID continues to infect it hosts, And the hospital staff are the ones who suffer the most; The work and fatigue and the testing keep going, When all that we wish is for the spread to be slowing.

The Coagulation Laboratory has aided the cause, And helped with dosing of heparin and all of its flaws; A test for VITT and for CVSIT, Soon gave hope to diagnosing clotting, like HIT

The laboratory with little recognition, but doing lots of work, They set up all of the new COVID testing; then turned with a jerk, And kept up with all other testing that was needed, While all proficiency and regulatory issues were heeded,

They sprang to this call, the lab team stood strong, And away they all worked for quality results, so nothing was wrong. But please listen to what they say, even though they may be out of sight, Get your vaccine and your booster and make the universe right!


And so, as we end 2021, we hope to slow down the spread of this virus, or we need to get used to the new normal. My wish and hope for all of you is to be healthy and safe, and that you get to celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends. After last year, everyone is even more appreciative of that hopefully happening this year. The laboratory continues to provide a tremendous role in this pandemic, and everyone should be proud (although somewhat exhausted) of the information that you provided to clinicians and patients. All the best in 2022.