Blood Bank Guy http://www.bbguy.org Teaching basic transfusion medicine to all Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:11:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 033: Straight Talk with an ED Physician with Scott Weingart http://www.bbguy.org/2017/06/19/033/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/06/19/033/#comments Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:03:01 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27643 Tense relationship between your blood bank and emergency department? Dr. Scott Weingart (a world-renowned ED physician) joins me to help clear the air!

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Believe it or not, the Emergency Department does not live to make blood bankers nervous! In fact, they have the same goal as we do: Save as many lives as possible. Dr. Scott Weingart from EMCrit.org joins us for a frank discussion on how our two areas interact.

Dr. Scott Weingart

Dr. Scott Weingart

“Trauma alert! Emergency Department! Three minutes!”

Those of us familiar with life in a hospital transfusion service know all too well the surge of energy and activity that accompanies words such as those above (or whatever variant is used in your particular hospital). Trauma cases are just one of the many interactions between blood banks and emergency departments that can, if we are not careful, lead to major conflicts and negative interactions. However, it does NOT have to be that way!

This episode of the Blood Bank Guy Essentials Podcast is an interview with a world-renowned Emergency-Critical Care physician. Dr. Scott Weingart is the host of the most popular medical podcast in the world, the “EMCrit Podcast,” and he blogs and interacts through his excellent website, EMCrit.org. Scott is a master educator, and he is passionate about caring for patients in dire situations as aggressively as possible, including through the appropriate use of blood products. Scott and I connected recently to talk about a wide array of topics, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhages, and blood refrigerators in the ED! One other thing: Scott believes (as do I) that with just a little bit of extra effort from both sides, our interactions with the Emergency Department not only don’t have to be negative, but in fact can be really positive! Check it out, and don’t forget to leave your comments below!

Speaker Bio:

Scott Weingart, MD, is an ED Intensivist from New York. He went to medical school and did emergency medicine residency at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He did fellowships in Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and ECMO. He is best known for talking to himself about Resuscitation and Critical Care on a podcast called EMCrit, which has been downloaded over 20 million times and is, as far as we can tell, the most popular medical podcast in the world.

Get the transcript of this episode.

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Featured image credit: Mike Beck (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegyver8), courtesy Dr. Scott Weingart.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Weingart nor I have any relevant financial disclosures.

Some of Scott’s EMCrit Podcasts on Transfusion Issues:

Articles Mentioned:

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032: Eat Your Spinach? Donors and Iron with Jed Gorlin http://www.bbguy.org/2017/05/30/032/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/05/30/032/#comments Tue, 30 May 2017 07:25:30 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27590 "Have a steak! Eat spinach!" Age-old advice from blood collectors to donors, but is it good enough? Jed Gorlin shows us why the old iron ways may not best!

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“Eat your green veggies! Have a steak every now and then, for goodness’ sake!” We’ve been telling blood donors things like that for decades, but what if this advice isn’t really all that helpful? Dr. Jed Gorlin shows us the recent, troubling news on iron and blood donors, with:

Five Essential Facts on Blood Donors and Iron

Jed Gorlin, MD

In recent years, several excellent studies have demonstrated pretty clearly that blood donors have limited iron stores, and that the process of blood donation impacts those stores pretty dramatically. This is particularly true in several very well-defined groups of donors, including: Frequent whole blood donors (males donating more than three times in a year, females more than twice per year), premenopausal females, and young donors (especially teenagers) of both sexes. In the United States, donors may give blood every 8 weeks (up to 5 or 6 times per year), and up until recently, both males and females had the same 12.5 g/dL, or 125 g/L qualifying hemoglobin to determine their eligibility (NOTE: The U.S. threshold was adjusted upward to 13.0 g/dL for males in 2016). Many other countries are more restrictive, and the topic of iron status of our blood donors is a very “hot” one right now!

This is an extremely important discussion, as blood centers everywhere are struggling to collect as much blood as has been collected in the past. It may be tempting to depend on donors in certain “easy to collect” groups, and those include donors at high risk outlined above! So, what to do? Dr. Gorlin has been heavily involved in these discussions, and he brings a unique perspective to this interview. He describes the relevant studies (linked in the “Further Reading” section below), and walks us through the steps that blood collectors (and donors) should take right away.

Download a transcript of this episode!

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Jed Gorlin received his BS from Stanford and his MD from Yale. He is board-certified in pediatrics and blood banking/transfusion medicine. He is Medical Director and Vice President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs of Memorial Blood Centers and Nebraska Community Blood Bank, both divisions of Innovative Blood Resources. Dr. Gorlin has served in various leadership roles with AABB through his more than 20 years in transfusion medicine, including chair of the Standards Committee for the 20th and 21st editions of AABB Standards, and as an AABB board member. He is a chapter contributor to 16 published books and anthologies, and author or co-author of over 40 abstracts.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Gorlin nor I have any financial disclosures relevant to this discussion.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Gorlin.

References Mentioned During this Episode:

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031: Why All Blood Bankers Should Be on Twitter http://www.bbguy.org/2017/05/15/031/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/05/15/031/#comments Mon, 15 May 2017 07:36:07 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27554 Are you missing new stuff? Twitter is a great platform for both young and "old" blood bankers to connect and learn. This roundtable discussion explains why you should dive in!

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“Wait, when did THAT article come out?” “When did THAT procedure change?” If you’ve ever found yourself missing some new bit of blood banking news, you might want to use a tool that is becoming indispensable! Yes, it’s Twitter!

Twitter, obviously, is not new. The “microblogging” platform with its trademark 140 character-limit posts has gone through its struggles over the years, but medical personnel in general, and blood bankers in particular, are starting to really understand the impact Twitter can have on everyday professional life. Hint: No, you don’t have to like Justin Bieber or one of the Kardashians to use Twitter in a truly productive way!

I’m honored to have four doctors that are killing it on Twitter join me for a round table discussion about how to use the platform as a blood banker! These docs are among many leading the charge for using Twitter to keep up with new developments, instantly connect with a worldwide community, enjoy learning from a conference even when you can’t attend, and even have an impact far beyond you imagined!

Dr. Jerad Gardner

Dr. Justin Kreuter

Dr. Sandy Minck

Dr. Kate Pendry

My Guests:

Dr. Jerad Gardner (@JMGardnerMD) received his MD from Tulane University in New Orleans, trained in AP/CP at Houston Methodist Hospital, and completed fellowships in bone/soft tissue pathology and dermatopathology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is currently an Assistant (soon to be Associate) Professor of Pathology and Dermatology at University of Arkansas for Medical Science. He is widely known as a leader in the use of social media in pathology, and serves as a deputy Editor-in-Chief for Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Justin Kreuter (@KreuterMD) completed his anatomic & clinical pathology residency at Dartmouth and transfusion medicine fellowship at Mayo Clinic. He is now on-staff at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Dr. Kreuter’s clinical responsibilities include the blood donor program and HLA laboratory. His research is focused on medical education and improving management of patients who are refractory to platelet transfusion.

Dr. Sandy Minck (@DrSandyMinck) is a Medical Officer with the Transfusion Policy and Education (TPE) team at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. She comes from a General Practice background and has a long history in medical education, both in Australia and overseas. Sandy is actively involved in the development of numerous educational materials, tools and resources. She is particularly interested in safe and appropriate transfusion practices, patient blood management and iron deficiency anaemia.

Dr. Kate Pendry (@KatePendry) is a consultant haematologist with NHS Blood and Transplant in a joint post with Central Manchester University Hospitals where she is clinical lead for transfusion (@cmftblood). In NHSBT, she is Clinical Director for Patient Blood Management, heading up a national team of colleagues to support the implementation of PBM in UK hospitals, delivery of education and training in Transfusion Medicine and the programme of national comparative audit in transfusion. Kate is Secretary of the National Blood Transfusion Committee in England, session organiser for BSH and BBTS Annual Conferences and Associate Editor of Transfusion Medicine with a remit to promote the journal content through use of social media.

Selected Twitter resources you can follow to get started:

Blood Bank/Hematology Educators:

Hashtags for Blood Bank:

Other Resources:

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030: Antibodies in Sickle Cell with Eric Gehrie http://www.bbguy.org/2017/04/10/030/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/04/10/030/#comments Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:28:11 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27517 Dr. Eric Gehrie explains why patients with sickle cell disease are so challenging for transfusion services, focusing especially on alloimmunization.

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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a big deal, for so many reasons. Dr. Eric Gehrie is here to guide us through the challenges transfusion services face in association with transfusion in sickle cell patients, especially alloimmunization (making antibodies against red cell antigens).

Dr. Eric Gehrie

Dr. Eric Gehrie

Way back in 1910 or so, Dr. James Herrick discovered that a student in his laboratory science course had some funky-looking RBCs, some of which had a shape like a “sickle.” Over the next ten years, more cases of what came to be known as “sickle cell disease” were described, with those patients suffering severe hemolytic anemia, strokes, and attacks of severe pain. Eventually, the specific problem was identified: A mutation leading to a single amino acid substitution (valine for glutamic acid) in the sixth position of the beta-globin portion of their hemoglobin. Such a simple-seeming substitution now has dire consequences for millions of patients around the world, most commonly in those of African ancestry.

Red blood cell transfusion is a mainstay of therapy in patients with SCD. While lifesaving, especially in regard to stroke prevention and treatment, giving red cells to a patient with SCD is often not as simple as just pulling some units off the shelf and transfusing! In this episode, Dr. Gehrie guides us through some of the things that blood bankers should be thinking when we transfuse RBCs to sickle cell patients. In particular, he will help us work through lots of issues surrounding alloimmunization, which is a massive problem for those with SCD.

(History lesson credit: Bunn HF. Chapter 9: Sickle Cell Disease. Pathophysiology of Blood Disorders, 2nd ed.)

Your thoughts?

In this episode, Dr. Gehrie mentioned one of the challenges facing U.S. blood bankers and clinicians: The high cost of prophylactic extended serologic or genotypic matching for all RBC transfusions to sickle cell patients. Is that an issue in your particular health care system? I especially wonder about those of you outside of the United States. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Eric Gehrie is a physician from whom you will be hearing great things in the future! He is currently the Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine and Assistant Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. He did his transfusion medicine fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was previously the Assistant Director of the Blood Bank and of Apheresis at that hospital. Dr. Gehrie’s clinical and research interests are focused on the safety and efficacy of blood transfusion and therapeutic apheresis. In particular, he is interested in developing algorithms to predict adverse events related to blood transfusion. He is a co-investigator of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) supported Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III), where he focuses on the impact of blood transfusion on recipient vital signs and pulmonary injury. He also is a co-investigator of a post-marketing surveillance study evaluating the relationship between platelet transfusion and pulmonary injury in hematology/oncology patients. In addition to these efforts, Dr. Gehrie is committed to patient blood management, with a particular emphasis on the development and implementation of evidence-based guidelines for the initiation of blood component transfusion

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Gehrie nor I have any relevant financial disclosures.

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029: Molecular Testing with Meghan Delaney http://www.bbguy.org/2017/03/20/029/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/03/20/029/#comments Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:30:17 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27429 Molecular testing is everywhere in medicine today, and the blood bank is no exception! Meghan Delaney shows us how it all fits.

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Molecular (genetic) testing is everywhere in medicine today, and the blood bank is no exception! You don’t have to be a geneticist to see how it all fits, however. I’m happy to have Dr. Meghan Delaney here to present:

7 practical uses for molecular testing in transfusion medicine.

Dr. Meghan Delaney

Dr. Meghan Delaney

You can hardly turn around in health care today without hearing someone talking about genetic testing (just to confuse people, such testing is more formally known as “molecular diagnostics” or “molecular testing”). In the blood bank, molecular testing is available right now, and it can really impact our day-to-day practice.

Fortunately for us, Meghan Delaney works right on the cutting edge of molecular testing. Her unique experience (she oversees both a hospital transfusion service and an AABB-accredited immunohematology reference lab) allows her a great perspective on who should be using this testing and how it all fits together. This is a really enlightening discussion that may just open your eyes to some new possibilities!

Speaker Bio:

Meghan Delaney is an Associate Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Washington, Medical Director for the Immunohematology & Red Cell Genomics Reference Laboratory at Bloodworks Northwest, and Medical Director of the transfusion service at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She also focuses on transfusion improvement and medical education and sustainable technology development in developing nations. Dr. Delaney chairs or serves on multiple committees for AABB, ASFA, and CAP. She is an Associate Editor for the journal Transfusion Medicine, and is on the editorial board of Transfusion. She is an Associate Scientific Member of the BEST Collaborative and the Associate Program Director for the Pathology Residency Program at University of Washington.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Delaney nor I have any relevant financial disclosures.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Delaney.

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028: Who DAT? with Sue Johnson http://www.bbguy.org/2017/02/27/028/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/02/27/028/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:38:45 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27312 For what is really a simple test, the Direct Antiglobulin Test (DAT) can be surprisingly confusing and complex. Sue Johnson is here to guide us to clarity!

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The Direct Antiglobulin Test (also known as the “DAT” or “Direct Coombs” test) seems super-simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye! Sue Johnson from BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Marquette University, and the Indian Immunohematology Initiative joins Dr. Chaffin to discuss.

Sue Johnson

Susan Johnson, MTSM, MT(ASCP)SBB

The DAT is really, in practice, a particularly basic and easy test to do. For such a simple test, however, most blood bank students struggle with the concepts, as do many clinicians! The DAT leads to discussions of autoantibodies, adsorptions, and elutions, oh my! Never fear, though, Sue Johnson is a master teacher who has taught thousands of students the essentials of the DAT! She is my guest on this episode to guide us to great clarity on this most excellent immunohematology test.

Brief Speaker Bio: Sue Johnson is the Director of Clinical Education at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, as well as the director of BCW’s Specialist in Blood Banking Program. She is also the Director of the Transfusion Medicine Program at Marquette University and Associate Director of the Indian Immunohematology Program. She has extensive experience as a teacher, author, and international lecturer; in short, she knows what she is talking about!

This is a fun episode! Whether you are a pure beginner or an experienced blood banker, you will come away with a much better understanding of why the DAT is so important!

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Ms. Johnson nor I have any relevant financial disclosures.

The images below are generously provided by Sue Johnson. The featured image seen in the podcast episode list and on Facebook and Twitter was illustrated by Jenny O’Connor, MLS(ASCP)SBBCM.

Don’t miss these videos for a visual look at what Sue described:

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027: NAIT with Brian Curtis http://www.bbguy.org/2017/02/13/027/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/02/13/027/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:46:04 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27166 Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia is like HDFN, but with platelets, but not quite! Dr. Brian Curtis shows us how to not hate NAIT!

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Dr. Curtis

Dr. Brian Curtis

Dr. Brian Curtis from BloodCenter of Wisconsin joins Dr. Chaffin to discuss Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT).

Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT), the disease with many names, continues to confound blood bankers everywhere! The conversation goes like this: “This baby has a low platelet count…is it NAIT?” Answer: “Ummmm….” I’m not meaning to offend anyone in transfusion service-world, because obviously, there are experts on this topic out there! Fortunately for us, I happen to have interviewed one of those experts for this podcast episode! Dr. Brian Curtis oversees one of the the world’s foremost labs for platelet antigen/antibody testing, and he explains how to take the right steps to find the answer, both in the real world and the exam world.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Dr. Curtis wants you to know that he has done research for Prophylix, the Norwegian company mentioned in the episode that is attempting to bring a medication to market to prevent NAIT. I (Dr. Chaffin) have no relevant disclosures.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Curtis.

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026: TTP Treatment with Jeff Winters http://www.bbguy.org/2017/01/23/026/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/01/23/026/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:14:06 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27211 Continuing the discussion from BBGE 025, Jeff Winters explains a true emergency: Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).

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Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN returns to discuss a true, honest-to-goodness blood bank treatment emergency, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).

Most people listening to this podcast are involved in blood banking in one way or another. In general, blood bankers like to do things in an organized, “take-your-time” fashion (it’s just our nature!). However, we can’t sit around and wait and think when we have a patient with TTP; we must act quickly! Since we must be prompt, we could really use a guide to get us to a decision point.

Jeff Winters practices therapeutic apheresis all day long, and he gave us a terrific overview in BBGuy Essentials 025. Today’s episode addresses how to use those principles to treat TTP. This terrifying disease, caused in adults primarily by a deficiency of an enzyme with a funny name, “ADAMTS13“, can be rapidly fatal if not promptly diagnosed and treated. In modern practice, treatment is primarily done using Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE), with replacement of the “bad” plasma with “good.” Dr. Winters helps us understand the pathophysiology of this nasty disease, as well as when we should pull the trigger on treating patients suspected of having TTP. He will also discuss the use of the poorly understood blood product, “cryo-poor plasma,” as a replacement fluid option. Trainees and practitioners in pathology, hematology, and laboratory sciences will benefit from this discussion.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Winters nor I have any relevant financial disclosures.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Winters.

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025: Intro to Therapeutic Apheresis with Jeff Winters http://www.bbguy.org/2017/01/16/025/ http://www.bbguy.org/2017/01/16/025/#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:33:02 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27168 Therapeutic apheresis doesn't have to be scary! Dr. Jeff Winters is an enthusiastic and willing guide, and he gives us the Essentials!

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Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN joins Dr. Chaffin to discuss the Essentials of Therapeutic Apheresis.

It is very common for trainees and practitioners of Transfusion Medicine to have low levels of comfort and experience with therapeutic apheresis procedures. It just “feels” complicated! Fortunately for us, Dr. Jeff Winters, editor of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis, past president of the American Society for Apheresis, and director of the very busy therapeutic apheresis service at Mayo Clinic, is an enthusiastic and willing guide! This episode is the first of two on this topic. In this episode, Dr. Winters takes us on a detailed tour through the basics of this sometimes mysterious-sounding discipline. He covers theoretical and practical aspects, including telling you where you can find a truly AMAZING educational resource that you can and should get your hands on today. I promise, you will end your time with him with a much clearer picture of how to approach these patients, and hopefully, you’ll be ready to dive even deeper into therapeutic apheresis (which you will get the chance to do in episode 026)!

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Winters nor I have any financial disclosures relevant to today’s topic.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Winters.

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My Five Favorite Interviews of 2016! http://www.bbguy.org/2016/12/28/five-favorites/ http://www.bbguy.org/2016/12/28/five-favorites/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 20:30:58 +0000 http://www.bbguy.org/?p=27098 After 24 episodes of the Blood Bank Guy Essentials Podcast, here are my top 5 favorite interviews (but don't stop here!)

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2016 marked a new beginning for the Blood Bank Guy website. Among other major changes, I debuted the “Blood Bank Guy Essentials Podcast” in April, an interview-style educational audio presentation targeted toward those learning blood banking and transfusion medicine. Since I couldn’t bring myself to create completely new stuff every other week, most of the episodes involved me interviewing an expert on a particular topic. I published 24 episodes of the podcast by the end of the year, and listeners like you downloaded those 24 episodes over 26,000 times!

I had a great time doing every interview, and I recommend all 24 of them to you! Each of the incredible interviewees are amazing in their own way. However, I recently found myself reflecting on which ones I had enjoyed the most, for various reasons. Since 2016 is a few days from ending, and that calls for reflection and list-making, here are my five favorite BBGuy Essentials Interviews of 2016!

I want to make it really clear that this list does not indicate a dislike for any of the other interviewees! Far from it! Many of those not on this list are close friends of mine, and I am honored and grateful for all of them. Please see the main podcast page to listen to any episode, as well as find the list of the five most downloaded episodes.

5. Awesome Presentations! (Dr. Kristine Krafts)

The scoop: Kristine is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, but she has an international audience! Kristine runs the extremely popular site pathologystudent.com, a “go-to” resource for medical and dental pathology students worldwide. She has deservedly won numerous teaching awards from the students at Minnesota (she wins one pretty much every year, and has done so for quite some time now!). Direct link to show page for this interview.

Why it made my list: My favorite things about Kristine are her passion for teaching and her hilarious writing and speaking style! This episode was based on a series of blog posts where she outlined her thoughts on how to make medical presentations awesome! You will hear five practical tips from a master teacher that will IMMEDIATELY improve your presentation skills. Plus, she and I had a blast, and there’s even a discussion of a rubber chicken! Finally, if you really want to annoy Kristine, send her a message in the Arial font…

4. Plasma Transfusions in Non-obvious Situations (Dr. Jeannie Callum)

The scoop: My goal with the BBGuy Essentials Podcast is to help those who listen understand topics that are sometimes challenging or under-researched. The transfusion of plasma in situations where things have not been well-studied (such as before bedside or minor procedures when the coagulation tests show only mild abnormalities) is definitely one of those situations! Direct link to show page for this interview.

Why it made my list: I feel so fortunate to have had the great (and I mean GREAT) Dr. Jeannie Callum from Toronto with me for this episode. Jeannie has done so much terrific writing and speaking on this issue, and she covers all the hot topics: Bedside procedures, warfarin correction, plasma use in liver failure and sepsis/DIC, and what role plasma plays in bleeding patients taking novel oral anticoagulants. She’s brilliant and quick and funny!

3. Destroying Misunderstandings about Whole Blood-derived Platelets (Dr. Mark Yazer)

The scoop: Dr. Mark Yazer works at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA, and he was kind enough to join me as my first victim…er, interviewee on my new podcast! I heard Mark talk about the use of whole blood derived platelets at the AABB Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA, in 2015. He was so comfortable, at ease, and hilarious that the session really stuck with me. When I decided to start my podcast, I reached out to Mark right away to be my first guest. Direct link to show page for this interview.

Why it made my list: Because it was my first interview! Honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and figuring out how to converse with someone while making sure I knew what question to ask next was almost overwhelming. However, Mark could not have been more gracious, and I loved talking to him (two big hockey fans talking about platelets; how great is that?!). Mark takes us through seven comparisons between whole blood-derived and apheresis-derived platelets, and his thoughts might surprise you!

2. Pediatric Transfusion (Dr. Cassandra Josephson)

The scoop: Cassandra Josephson is a force of nature! Seriously, you will see her name all over the pediatric transfusion literature, and she has been and continues to be involved in many of the important studies in that field. I admit that pediatric transfusion is not an area of focus for me, but I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather learn it from than Cassandra, so I asked her to chat with me about a variety of topics. Direct link to show page for this interview.

Why it made my list: Cassandra is passionate, funny, and incredibly knowledgable, and that comes through loud and clear in this episode! I’m certain that this episode sets the record for most words spoken (as both she and I have a tendency to talkreallyreallyfast when we get excited), but you’ll hear great info on things like pediatric platelet transfusion, CMV, sickle cell disease, and HDFN.

1. What About the Age of Blood? (Prof. Nancy Heddle)

The scoop: It just dawned on me while writing this that three out my five favorite BBGuy Essentials episodes involve interviews with Canadians! Well, since I was born and raised in the only major U.S. city where you can go due south and get to Canada (Geography quiz! Do you know it? The answer is below…), I suppose that is reasonable! Nancy Heddle, Professor Emeritus at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, is truly a master teacher and researcher! I reached out to her when the landmark “INFORM” study debunking most of the controversy regarding potential adverse effects of “old” RBCs was published in the New England Journal of Medicine late in 2016, and to my surprise, she was excited to participate! Direct link to show page for this interview.

Why it made my list: This is my favorite episode of the year primarily because Nancy is simply wonderful to interview! She is so smart, so kind, and so interesting that the interview just flew by for me (I can’t speak for her; it may have been like a visit to the dentist on her side!). She patiently laid out the case for the INFORM study and why it appears that the age of blood at the time of transfusion doesn’t really matter, and shared useful and practical information throughout. I think that you will love this one!

ANSWER TO GEOGRAPHY QUESTION ABOVE: I am from fabulous Detroit, Michigan! Don’t believe me about the “going due south into Canada” thing? See the image below, straight from Google Maps!

Detroit and Canada

Honorable Mentions:

These episodes were outstanding, and I just couldn’t resist recommending them to you in addition to the five favorites above:

Shape next year’s shows!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast this year, and my five favorite episodes (plus two)! I’m looking forward to more great topics and discussions in 2017, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Be sure to do two things: First, sign up for the e-mail list below! That will get you early notice of new BBGuy Podcast episodes and blog posts, and occasional special e-mail list only goodies!  Second, use the comment field below to tell me what topics you struggle with that I might address in a BBGuy Essentials Podcast interview. “Help me help you!”

Happy New Year!

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