Frequent Questions and Update Archive

April 03, 2020

April 3 Update: From the Chair

Dear Members of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Community,

As information is changing rapidly, I want to make sure to address and clarify questions that continue to come up. Some of the issues we hear about frequently are around personal protective equipment (PPE). We make significant efforts to preserve PPE, so we ask that you maintain your mask for as long as you can. Request a mask only when necessary if it has become soiled or damaged.

Another frequent question that comes up is about testing capacity. HUP has four testing platforms running simultaneously in order to maintain testing during a time of reagent (test kit) scarcity. One of these platforms, which is also present at all six health system entities, has the capability to return results in less than an hour after beginning a run on the instrument. (Note that actual turnaround time, from order to result, takes longer, as there are multiple steps involved). This test will facilitate rapid testing for the sickest patients and those being admitted through the emergency departments. We use other in-house tests for Penn Medicine employees with potential occupational exposures, which all have a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. Next week we will increase our testing capacity by adding a fifth vendor as more reagents become available.

I also want to call attention to two additional blood drive for this coming Monday, April 6:

  • Pennsylvania Hospital, Pine Building, McClelland Conference Room - 9 am to 5 pm; at this link.
  • Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 1st Floor Lobby - 7am to 5pm; Appointments are required and can be made at this link.

Members of our research community continue to publish impressive work. The Milone Lab published their findings that noncanonical NF-κB signaling enhances the survival of CAR T cells expressing the 4-1BB costimulatory domain in Science Signaling. Their research article provided the cover image of this week's issue.

Many of you have asked about my previous updates. They are available on the Department website here. I will also continue to add information to the useful, informative, and illuminating links and tips webpage.

On a lighter note, I came across this GIF that perfectly captures the importance of keeping your distance from others. Nothing says "stay safe, keep your distance!" better than a spray of saliva from a slobbering dog.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

David Roth
Chair, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine