The scary facts about cholesterol!

The scary facts about cholesterol!

Cholesterol is a fatty substance also known as a lipid. It is made by the liver but can also be found in some foods. It is essential to let the body function normally. You will be sad to hear that high levels can increase your risk of serious health conditions. There are two main types; high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL is known as good cholesterol. It carries cholesterol back to the liver, where it is broken down. LDL on the other hand carries cholesterol to the cells however if there is a surplus it can build up in the artery walls increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke occurring.

Here are some scary facts about cholesterol…

  1. You can’t live without it – Cholesterol has been in your body since the day you were born. It is a building block for all cells.  Not only that but all of our cells and hormones need it to function properly…unfortunately you are very unlikely to find good cholesterol in your typical trick-or-treat offerings.
  1. Not all patients on cholesterol-lowering medication respond optimally to it – In the recent past, aspirin (a drug used to reduce levels) was prescribed for people who had a perceived risk of a heart attack. However aspirin does not always work; up to 30% of patients could have a below optimum response to the drug and therefore be at a considerably increased risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event. This is may also be referred to as “aspirin resistance”.
  1. One third of adults have high cholesterol – Testing is advised every 5 years to monitor your levels to see any changes. To get the most accurate results tests should be carried out one week apart, however most testing facilities won’t follow this.
  1. High levels could be down to genetics – Diet you can change, genes you can’t! If your family has a history of high cholesterol then you are likely to have it as well. It has been suggested that 75% of cholesterol is due to genetics and the remaining 25% is down to diet and lifestyle choices.
  1. Women’s levels will fluctuate over their lifespan – Did you know that ladies? During the average woman’s lifespan, cholesterol levels will rise and fall due to pregnancy and menopause. During pregnancy levels will rise in order to help the baby develop. After birth the mother’s levels should return to normal however after menopause a woman’s LDL levels will rise to that higher of a man’s.

However it is not all doom and gloom this Halloween!  Randox are here to treat you to a vast range of specialised blood tests to allow the most accurate diagnosis of cholesterol levels, allowing you to gauge how many sweets you can sneak in this Halloween! We offer a large array of routine and niche tests. The most popular and widely tested are HDL, LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Some further risk assessment cholesterol tests which are not routinely run include sLDL, HDL3, Lp(a). These cholesterol biomarkers are also affected by the usual risk factors such as age, weight, smoking, etc.; however they can also be a result of one’s genes. As mentioned before aspirin resistance is a big problem affecting up to 30% of all patients on aspirin therapy. However Randox offer the TxBCardio™ test which is a unique test to diagnose and assess the effectiveness of aspirin therapy.

From all of us here at Randox we wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

 


For health professionals

Randox Laboratories manufacture a wide range of routine and niche biochemistry reagents suitable for both research and clinical use.  These include a wide variety of automated routine and niche cardiac tests and our new HDL3-C assay.  Please contact reagents@randox.com for further information.

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Don’t Get Tricked This Halloween

Don’t Get Tricked This Halloween – Treat Your Lab to Randox True Third Party Controls Today!

Halloween – a celebration observed by many countries around the world on a yearly basis. Falling on October 31st this holiday is a chance for people to dress up, carve pumpkins, bob for apples, attend costume parties, trick-or-treat and tell scary stories.

It just so happens that we have a scary story for you – and what makes this story even scarier is that it’s a true story!

Our story starts off in a medical laboratory. This laboratory was running QC on their machine as they would do every day. Getting accurate results with no faults or problems arising from their machine, this laboratory was happy with how things were going – until one day when it all went wrong!

Having run their EQA/PT samples, the laboratory found themselves reviewing their report with shock –they noticed a large negative bias. To their horror the perceived ‘accuracy’   they had once achieved was now no longer the case. Right away the laboratory professional’s thoughts turned to the fact that approx. 70% of all clinical decisions are based on laboratory test results, meaning it is essential that the results provided are accurate and reliable in order to prevent potential misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment. Had they sent incorrect patient results to the clinicians? Had a patient been misdiagnosed? Many thoughts fluttered around in their heads.

The laboratory repeated their QC and found that the results obtained were almost identical to the previous run. The laboratory knew there must be a problem with their QC or their instrument, so they began the troubleshooting process. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. “What was going on?” was the question on the lips of the laboratory professionals.

One of the laboratory professionals then stumbled across a case study that took place in the University of Verona and Academic Hospital of Parma, Italy. The study was related to a field recall of Intact PTH, the reagent was recalled after falsely elevated patient results were discovered.  The alarming thing was that the same elevated performance was not identified by the instrument manufacturer’s control. The study reported that due to this issue there was potential for 40,000 inaccurate patient results from just 18 labs in the Lombardy region of Italy. The study also concluded that the issue could have been prevented if a third-party control, independent from calibrator materials had been used.

This PTH case study got the laboratory thinking that maybe they should source a true third party manufacturer… Having sampled a third party QC, the lab found their results now mirrored that of their EQA and patient samples and as such proceeded to make the switch from first party to third party.

The moral of this story is that first party controls can sometimes “trick” the lab into thinking their performance is acceptable. Quite often target values provided with first party quality controls are in the middle of the analytical range thus masking the issues at the low and high ends of the assay range. Laboratory professionals should “treat” their labs to the best QC material. ISO 15189 highlights that the “use of independent third party control materials should be considered, either instead of, or in addition to, any control materials supplied by the reagent or instrument manufacturer”. So this Halloween don’t randomly choose your QC supplier, treat your laboratory to the best, Randox QC.

All Randox controls are manufactured independently of any instrument or reagent, and designed for use with multiple instruments and methods ensuring, unbiased performance assessment.

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Heart disease study suggests benefits of testing toddlers

Heart disease experts have suggested today that toddlers get tested for an inherited form of the condition, from as early as twelve months old.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disorder characterised by very high cholesterol levels, specifically very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL – so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol). FH is the main cause of heart disease and increases by 10-fold the chance of someone having a heart attack under the age of 40. However people who have been diagnosed can control their cholesterol levels by taking a daily dose of statins.

Currently testing is carried out when an adult who had has heart problems is found to be FH positive. Doctors then recommend testing for others in the family. It’s estimated that currently between 80-90% of FH cases remain undiagnosed.

However a new study led by a team from Queen Mary University of London took a different approach. They tested a group of one-year-old children for known genetic mutations which are linked to FH. Out of 10,000, 40 were found to be FH positive. Not only has this group of children been identified early, but because the condition is genetic, one or both of their parents must have it too. For every one positive FH test, at least two people were diagnosed.

According to the lead researcher Dr David Wald, preventive diagnostic testing for FH could prevent up to 600 heart attacks a year among the under-40s in England and Wales. He told the BBC,

“This is the only screening method that stands a reasonable chance of covering the whole population and identifying those at highest risk of an early heart attack.”

The broadcaster also spoke to the British Heart Foundation’s Medical Director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani who said,

“Early diagnosis in children is likely to substantially improve treatment of their condition and will help find other family members with FH. But before nationwide screening is adopted by the NHS, more work needs to be done to show it’s a cost-effective way for picking up individuals with FH which will be acceptable to families.”

Randox Biosciences have developed a FH test in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to proactively diagnose FH. Utilised on our patented Biochip Array Technology, our FH arrays simultaneously detect 40 of the most common FH-causing mutations within the LDLR, ApoB and PCSK9 genes, with results available in just three hours.

The test, which is available through Randox Health Clinics, has also been adopted by medical professionals within the NHS including Dr. Colin Graham, recently retired Consultant Clinical Scientist and former Head of the Regional Genetics Lab in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, who introduced the test within his Belfast Laboratory screen for suspected cases of FH.

He said the availability of this test marked a key milestone in the detection of the condition,

“Current FH diagnostic tests require a large volume of samples to be batched, leading to lengthy turnaround times of two to three months. With the new test, the turnaround time is dramatically reduced, enabling more rapid patient diagnosis. This new test has the potential to enable FH screening to become routine in the clinical setting for improved detection and earlier identification of familial cases.”

Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories said,

“In the battle against cardiovascular disease, people with FH are on the front line. It is important to raise awareness of FH as many people do not even know that they and their family members have this life-threatening condition. There is so much that can be done to support families with FH and with this readily available and much-needed test, detecting and treating entire families with FH is now possible.”


We Are Randox | De Bordeaux à Belfast…Anthony Borsato passe 15 semaines en Irlande du Nord!

We Are Randox | De Bordeaux à Belfast…Anthony Borsato passe 15 semaines en Irlande du Nord!

As a global diagnostics company, with distributions and offices in 145 countries across the globe, Randox has plenty to offer students who are interested in understanding how an international organisation operates. Whether you are a placement student or a graduate you will be sure to gain great experiences, make new lifelong friends and broaden your employability skill set for the future.

Anthony Borsato, a French placement student currently working in the Finance Department here at Randox, told us about his experience living and working in Northern Ireland. Following his 15 week placement, today is Anthony’s last day and we are interested to hear what he has learnt from his time spent in our global organisation.

“I arrived in Crumlin at the end of July having travelled over from Bordeaux which is in southwestern France. I am studying continuous improvement engineering at Cesi School of Engineering, and as part of the apprenticeship programme I have to undertake a 15 week placement in an English country to help not only improve my English but to gain an international experience working abroad.”

After hearing good reviews from a previous placement student Anthony decided to come to Randox

“Last year another placement student who was on the same course as me came here. So I thought it would be a good idea to meet up with her to hear how she got on, find out what she did during her placement and hear more about Northern Ireland. She was extremely positive about Randox and really recommended coming over. I was reassured when she explained how much consideration Randox put into placements for international students – my mentor would speak French and be able to help with any issue to do with my placement. She also said that the people I’d be working with were very friendly and helpful. Knowing this made me feel much more comfortable about the move and I could see why she had been able to enjoy her time with the company. All in all, the feedback she gave me was really encouraging so that’s what enticed me to come.”

Anthony went on to discuss what his placement involved and how he enjoys having a varied range of tasks to complete each day.

“I like being challenged and learning new things on a daily basis. My responsibilities include updating the software with any new records and checking financial records and any recent transactions.”

Anthony’s team leader quickly identified his ability to develop strong customer relations and his bi-lingual talent was particularly useful with customers who speak French.

“As a global business there are many customers who speak languages other than English so being able to converse in another language is a real advantage in every department here. I was able to work on a number of occasions with our French customers and help to resolve any issues they had. When I go back to France I will have to conduct a presentation on what I did during my placement with Randox so I will have a lot to talk about.”

Anthony continued to tell us what he’s done during his free time and what he will miss the most when he returns home.

“I live in Belfast with six other people, my roommates are from Spain, Poland and even India so I have made some good friends from different nationalities. There is a good atmosphere here and there is a lot to do. I enjoy seeing the sights and experiencing all that the Belfast nightlife has to offer. I brought my own car over when I travelled across France from Bordeaux to Cherbourg. From Cherbourg I got the ferry which docked in Rosslare and I travelled up from there. It was an 18 hour journey but it was worth it as I wanted to be able to travel around Northern Ireland and see as much as I could. At first it was a little tricky getting used to driving on the other side of the road but now I’m used to it. When I go back home I will have to remember to drive on the right hand side again.”

“I live near Queen’s University which is a beautiful historical building that is a must see -especially at night. I also experienced my first traditional Irish fry which was very tasty. During my holidays in August I took a trip to the North Coast and the Giant’s Causeway which was great. I have also explored Derry, Sligo and Donegal, visited friends in Omagh and Enniskillen and took a day trip to discover the Mourne Mountains. I even spent a weekend in Dublin so I have managed to squeeze in a good bit of sightseeing since being here.”

“I have made some good lifelong friends during my time at Randox. So I think that is what I will miss the most when I leave along with the great work atmosphere. Randox is a fast paced environment and you are able to meet a range of people, not just those who work in the same department as you. I learnt a lot from my co-workers who were very welcoming from the moment I started. They taught me the phrase “on it like a car bonnet” which I will be introducing my family to when I return to France! In the future I hope to be able to come back and visit the friends I’ve made here and discover more of Northern Ireland.”

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having Anthony as part of our team during 2016 and wish him the best for the future.  

Au Revoir Anthony.

A la prochaine!

If you are interested in working with a global company and completing your placement with Randox make sure that you check out our careers website for all our current opportunities.

Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox


Does Your QC Cover Clinically Relevant Ranges?

Following recommendations from recognized institutions such as ISO and CLIA, more laboratories are using third party controls than ever before. However, great care should be taken when choosing which third party control to use. A number of factors should be considered, and primarily among these is whether the control challenges the complete Clinical Range and the Medical Decision Levels. ISO 15189:2012 states that ‘The laboratory should choose concentrations of control materials wherever possible, especially at or near clinical decision values, which ensure the validity of decisions made’.

Measuring the Complete Clinical Range

It is important to assess the full clinical range of an assay i.e. the range between the lowest and highest results which can be reliably reported. In order to make sure a laboratory instrument is working across the full clinical range, a QC which covers low, normal and elevated concentrations must be used.

Question: “If the full clinical range isn’t covered by QC, how will we know whether patient results which fall outside the range of quality controls are accurately reported?”

What are Medical Decision Levels?

Medical Decision Levels (MDL) are the analyte values at which medical professionals can determine whether a patient may be suffering from a certain condition. The MDL is determined by a consensus of medical professionals and clinical research. Patients’ test results are compared to the MDL and appropriate diagnoses or medical interventions can be made.

For example, the MDL of Glucose can indicate a certain diabetic status:

Analyte Medical Decision Level Diagnostic Status
Glucose (fasting) <100 mg/dL Non-Diabetic
100–125 mg/dL Pre-Diabetic
>125 mg/dL Diabetic

Competitor QC

Many QC manufacturers ‘cut corners’ in an attempt to keep costs down, which often results in the sale of controls which do not cover the complete clinical range or vital medical decision levels. Below is an example of the Glucose concentrations present in a competitor control:

Competitor Chemistry Control Level 1 – 68 mg/dL

Competitor Chemistry Control Level 2 – 134 mg/dL

Competitor Chemistry Control Level 3 – 386 mg/dL

In the examples above, the competitor’s level 1 control covers the non-diabetic MDL, but the level 2 control is not within the ‘Pre-Diabetic’ decision range. The level 3 control is also much higher than can be expected for an elevated diabetic patient result (200 mg/dL or more).

Randox QC

Due to the superior manufacturing process used by Randox, QC target values are consistently within the MDL of tests. For example, the Glucose concentrations present in our Liquid Assayed Chemistry Premium Plus control are:

Level 1 – 57 mg/dL

Level 2 – 114 mg/dL

Level 3 – 236 mg/dL

The MDL for Glucose is covered by the Randox control, meaning laboratory professionals can be confident that patient results will be accurately interpreted.

Immunoassay Medical Decision Levels

Controls which cover the MDL can reduce the number of Quality Controls required by laboratories. For example, Randox Acusera Lyophilised Immunoassay Controls contain particularly low levels of TSH, Ferritin and Vitamin B12 in the Level 1 control, eliminating the need for an additional control at extra expense:

Analyte Medical Decision Level Randox Level 1 IA Control Competitor Level 1 IA Control
TSH 0.1 or 0.27 uU/mL 0.15uU/mL 0.37 uU/mL
Vitamin B12 190 pmol/L 174 pmol/L 327 pmol/L
Ferritin 12 ng/mL 11.1 ng/mL 49.6 ng/mL

In this example the competitor offers an anaemia control with lower levels of TSH, Vitamin B12 and Ferritin at an additional cost. With Randox Acusera QC, only one control is required for anemia monitoring and detection.


Randox Equine Health Programmes: Keeping racehorses healthy from the paddock to the podium

As sponsors of the Randox Health Grand National, the welfare of horses is of paramount importance to us and is a cause very close to our own hearts.

Did you know that one of the reasons we entered into partnership with the Jockey Club is because we are experts in the field of Equine Health?

Well now you do!

Not only do we have a history of being involved in equestrian events, (we host the Randox Point-to-Point event for our local community every year, and International Polo Tournaments in both Scotland and Bushmills, on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland), but we also have over 34 years’ experience in the diagnostics industry, during which we have developed innovative and accurate diagnostic products for Equine Health.

That may sound complicated but vets, trainers and owners have been working with us for years so that we can help them better understand their horses’ health and wellbeing.

To recognise the importance of what we do, you must know that more than 70% of all medical decisions are based on an analysis of your blood.

Using our innovative blood-science technology we can obtain a comprehensive profile of not only your body’s current health, but also your future health.  This is the same for horses!

In the development of our own dedicated Equine Health Programme, we’ve learnt a thing or two. We know that endurance racehorses require extra attention as a result of intense physical exercise, and therefore monitoring what’s going on in their blood is vitally important.

To give an example, monitoring the Total Antioxidant Status of your horse is a sure-fire way to detect whether he or she has suffered muscle cell injury or trauma.

A reduction in the overall antioxidant status of your horse inhibits its body’s defence and monitoring the TAS is therefore an efficient way to identify risk of injury, determine the levels of training required and establish appropriate recovery times to maintain their wellbeing.

If your horse is often transported between locations it’s also important to monitor his or her TAS.  The Total Antioxidant Status of a horse may increase after long-haul road transportation, indicating that your horse is stressed.

So, as you can see, you can tell a lot about the health of your horse by looking at what’s going on in their blood.  We’re the experts in this area so we can share our knowledge with you, explain the importance of particular biomarkers in observing the health of your horse, and advise you what areas of your horse’s health you should be monitoring if you have particular concerns.

Let’s say for example your horse is undergoing intense training.

We would recommend that you monitor their levels of Superoxide Dismutase. This enzyme can let you know whether they are suffering from any muscle pain, stiffness, joint weakness, loss of muscle strength, stamina and flexibility, amongst other issues.  It is important to know whether their current training is regime is benefitting them, or encumbering them.

If injury is suspected, we then advise that you monitor your horse’s levels of Creatine Kinase.

Any damage to your horse’s heart, skeletal muscle or brain tissue will result in a spike of Creatine Kinase in the blood.  By monitoring CK, you can determine any muscle trauma, bruising, wasting, abscesses, inflammation, infection and recurring muscle damage.

Laminitis, a painful inflammatory condition of the tissue, is often one of the most concerning conditions for any horse, as historically there has been minimal opportunity to detect the risk or early stages of the disease. Randox Adiponectin, a protein hormone, is now being used in conjunction with other current biomarkers to successfully detect the risk of this disease and allow earlier management of the condition in the aim to remove the risk completely or reduce its life-altering impact.

The importance in monitoring these biomarkers is of course that it enables early treatment, which greatly improves your horse’s prognosis and chances of recovery.

Swift treatment upon diagnosis of trauma ensures that your horse is kept healthy and happy, and our customers agree!  We work with a number of key Veterinary Hospitals around the world, including Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, the Official Equine Hospital of the Breeders’ Cup in Lexington, Kentucky, (known as ‘The Horse Capital of the World!), and The Irish Equine Centre in Kildare, Ireland.

Jean Hearn, Biochemistry Lab Manager at The Irish Equine Centre, commented;

“As a long time customer of Randox Laboratories, over thirty years, I feel I am in a good position to offer an opinion on the company. Initially we dealt with Randox for Chemistry Reagents and ELISA kits, as they offered a very good range for us working in the veterinary field. However when they launched their Randox Daytona, we found it to be an essential additional analyser in our laboratory, due to the fact that it was capable of running tests that prior to that we were running with very labour intensive methods. eg various minerals and it also broadened the range of tests we could offer to our customers ,eg. acute phase proteins. 

“Support has always been good from Randox and the staff always very pleasant and helpful.”

Of course what your horse eats plays a huge role in their health too.

High quality horse feed is paramount for race horses in particular whose speed, agility and most importantly, health, is dependent on them receiving all the nutrients they require.

Our Randox Food Diagnostics ensures the safety of horse feed by screening the food for harmful mycotoxins which can grow on a variety of different crops including cereals, grains and fruits, and can cause a number of health issues for horses, including problems with fertility, sports performance and malnutrition.

And our work in the racing industry doesn’t stop there.

Our Randox Toxicology division creates custom testing panels for the screening of drugs of abuse, on our patented Randox Biochip Array Technology, which has revolutionised the diagnostics industry by allowing multiple tests to be run simultaneously on a single, undivided patient sample.

Screening for drug abuse amongst jockeys in this way (we currently work with Jockey Clubs around the world including Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong) protects the safety of the horses and ensures races are won on the jockeys’ and the animals’ natural abilities.

Hopefully you now have a flavour for the work that we do in the racing and veterinary industries to ensure the health and wellbeing of horses.  We hope that through our sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National we can share our knowledge and expertise in the field of Equine Health, Horse Feed Screening and Jockey Toxicology with the racing fraternity.

Just as we promote a message of preventive health to racing fans, the same applies to the horses we love.

 

For further information on how we work to keep horses healthy, please contact our Randox PR Team.

E: nicola.mchugh@randox.com or amy.mcilwaine@randox.com

T: 028 9445 1016


We Are Randox | Charlie Graham tells us about her time spent volunteering in Ethiopia

Here at Randox we are celebrating our creative and talented work force whose fresh perspectives and world experience help Randox operate on such a global scale.

Recently, Charlie Graham, a member of the Randox Food Diagnostics Marketing team told us about her time spent in Ethiopia, volunteering with Volunteer Service overseas (VSO) as part of the International Citizenship Service (ICS) Programme.

Charlie sat down with us to tell us her story.

“I first heard about the ICS program when I was studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. My friend who was also studying Business Management with Marketing alongside me, had pre-warned me about the intense application process, and although it seemed quite daunting at the time, I have always been interested in volunteer work and  international travel so I felt up for the challenge.

To be considered for a place on the program I had to firstly complete an online application. Then if you passed this initial stage you were invited to attend a group interview that took place in London. Here I undertook both group and individual assessments throughout the day that tested my knowledge of international development, conflict resolution and team work skills. Surprisingly, I found the interview process extremely rewarding as there was a strong focus on personal development and feedback. It was also interesting to learn about the possible charities that we could be placed with based on our skill sets.

I was excited when I finally received the news eight weeks later that I been matched with VSO and would be placed in a livelihoods development programme in Addis Ababa. To finalise my place I had to raise £800 that would go towards the work that I would be doing when I arrived in Ethiopia. I decided to host a bake sale in the foyer of Caledonian University and also compete a 5KM run to help raise the money.

As a group, we underwent pre-departure training before our flight from London. Once I landed there was a week of in-country training where I met up with the Ethiopian volunteers that I would be working alongside for the next three months. We also met our new families that we would be staying with throughout the duration of the program.

One of the first projects that I worked on was with the Women’s Income Generating Activity Groups. This Government funded program provided both training and guidance for local women who had received a small loan which enabled them to start up their own business ideas. One memory that has stuck with me from working with this group was the power of knowledge. Almaz, the project leader, highlighted that for many of the women learning how to read and being able to sign their own names was truly empowering and allowed them to become financially independent for the first time in their lives. This really brought home to me how valuable the work of ISC is, and how much I as a volunteer was able to impact the lives of these women by teaching them this simple act.

I also organised community action days during my time in Ethiopia. I visited a rehabilitation centre called Mecadonia that housed 170 people aged between 10 – 94 who are bed ridden or elderly. As this centre runs solely on donations we provided meals and clothing for all the residents. I even got a local newspaper to come and write about the centre to help raise awareness and potentially generate new sponsorship for the future.

One of the residents of Mecadonia was called Addis, he was 26 and was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been suffering from kidney problems for five years and his family could only afford to treat him with traditional remedies – nothing had worked. As his health deteriorated he was unable to live with his family as he needed to attend the hospital for weekly dialysis. The evening that I met him, he was trying to fundraise 1 million birr which is the equivalent of £25,000 to secure a kidney transplant. His story really opened my eyes and put into perspective how blessed we are in the UK to have the NHS. After meeting Addis I felt very fortunate for the health of my family and myself.

During the time I spent in Addis Ababa one of the other projects I worked on was capacity building for a charity called Redeem the Generation which focused on the potential of young people and women. I worked on developing and improving their facilities to ensure they were providing a good service for the local community. One of my biggest achievements during the project was organising ICT training programme for women which was attended by 15 women and several community elders.

The three months I spent in Addis Ababa were truly unforgettable: I learnt a new language, experienced a new culture and made life-long friends. What’s more I got the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.

Since my trip I have become a real advocate for international development and female entrepreneurship. My experience has not only helped cement the importance of being a team player but also developed my leadership skills – which has really helped me here at Randox.”

We hope Charlie’s story has inspired you to grab new international opportunities that will help improve the wellbeing of others. Randox is committed to revolutionising healthcare through its diverse and multi-talented team.

Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox


Horse-racing’s most successful jockey AP McCoy joins Grand National sponsor Randox Health

In time for the return of the highly anticipated jump season, Randox Health, the new sponsor of the Grand National has unveiled the 20-time Champion Jump Jockey Sir Anthony McCoy as its brand ambassador. It signals a new era of sponsorship for the racing industry and is an active move to promote a healthier and more positive lifestyle for jockeys and fans alike.

Randox is a world leader in the promotion of effective preventive care and long-term wellbeing. The global diagnostics company, the new sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National and the Official Healthcare Partner of The Jockey Club, is opening healthcare clinics across the UK, Ireland, US and Middle East which will revolutionise healthcare through the use of its patented biochip array technology.

Using a comprehensive range of blood tests and biochip arrays, Randox enables early and accurate diagnosis of a wide range of clinical conditions and can carry out risk assessments on longer term threats including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sir Anthony McCoy commented;

“My days of competitive horse racing might be behind me, but I’ve no intention of slowing down. I always try and enjoy life to the full, and staying healthy is key to that.  You’re happiest when you’re healthy, and that’s why I’m delighted to be an ambassador for Randox Health. They’re leading the field in preventive healthcare and can give you an entire breakdown on not only how healthy you are now, but also on future risks and how best to maintain your health.”

 Randox founder Dr Peter FitzGerald welcomed the announcement;

“AP McCoy didn’t leave any aspect of his racing career to guesswork and he is making sure the next stage of his life is no different. He is recognised around the world as an incredible sportsman who pushed his body to its limits during his career. I am delighted now that he is working with Randox Health to ensure not only that he stays healthy, but that his fans do too. Our goal is to transform global healthcare – it’s not enough to achieve long life on its own, we must strive for long health too. Given the choice, few people will leave that to chance. By joining forces with the world’s most popular jockey and the world’s most popular horse-race, we believe we can share that message and improve people’s health across the world.”

 One of the central pillars of the partnership between AP McCoy and Dr FitzGerald is a shared love of horses. Randox has worked for over 20 years with the equine industry in delivering products to ensure the health and well-being of endurance racehorses. The complete equine health programme includes tests that minimise the risk of injury to horses by measuring the impact of training. Randox has worked with the Irish Equine Centre and 15-times National Hunt Champion, Martin Pipe.

Randox Health Clinics are currently located in London and Belfast, with ambitious plans to roll out a number of new centres across the UK and internationally including in LA and Dubai. Using the latest blood science technology, Randox’s scientists analyse over 350 different indicators of your body’s wellbeing across a range of different areas including cancer surveillance, fertility, heart, nutritional, digestive and diabetes health.  Not only do you find out how healthy you are now, but you are also empowered with the knowledge of how you can stay healthy for years to come.

For more information contact the Randox PR team on 028 9445 1016 or email nicola.mchugh@randox.com or amy.mcilwaine@randox.com.

Photograph courtesy of Patch Dolan Photography


We Are Randox | Susan Kinkead speaks about her 31 years working at Randox

Key to Randox’s ongoing success is having a loyal and dedicated team.  

Last week Environmental Manager and Land Steward, Susan Kinkead, retired from Randox after committing 31 years to Randox’s vision of revolutionising healthcare.

Susan was a dedicated member of the Randox team and will be sadly missed, so we sat down with her to hear a little bit about her time working here at Randox and what memories she will be taking home with her.

 Hi Susan, when did you start your career with Randox?

I started working at Randox in 1985 when it was still situated on the Randox Road. I had just moved home from South Africa and my father had seen in the local paper that Randox were recruiting.  The next day my husband rang up and spoke with Peter who told him to send me up the next day for an interview. So the next day I went down to meet Peter and he told me I could start in the morning.

Where did you work when you first started?

When I first started I did a bit of everything. My first job was centrifuging fetal calf serum believe it or not, but there weren’t very many of us at this point. I distinctively remember Mrs FitzGerald coming out to us with wheaten bread and cheese and chatting to all the workers. After a while we moved everything up in horseboxes to headquarters here in Ardmore. This is when I moved to Quantity Control and after a while I changed positions to Packaging and Dispense Manager.  In between this I left for a few years, but I came back, worked in the Training Department and then into Quality Assurance. Peter moved me onto Environmental Manager and a few years later I was given the role of Land Steward.

What is your best memory from working at Randox?

My best memories is when I got the opportunity to travel with the company. Peter and I got to go to Karachi Lahore in Pakistan back when I was Packaging and Dispense Manager. If you are prepared to work and put the hard graft in then you will get fantastic opportunities. I got to develop systems and was given free rein to do what I thought was best. You don’t get those sort of opportunities these days in many companies.

What will you miss the most after you leave Randox?

I will miss the people that I worked with. I believe that if you have a good team behind you then anything is possible. It’s a lot of hard work but you don’t get things done unless you have a good team behind you. I always felt a sense of worth working here at Randox and I got to accomplish a lot of things so I think I will miss that feeling.

What plans do you have for your retirement?

I hope to spend time on my garden and my house I am also looking forward to taking time out to set up my beehives, making honey and maybe putting my feet up!

 

We wish Susan all the best for the future and a very happy and relaxing retirement!

For more information please contact Aisling in our PR team via email: aisling.clarke@randox.com

Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox

Pictured presenting Susan with a token of our thanks for all her hard work at Randox during her 31 years with us, is David Martin, Manufacturing Manager.


Students at World Space Week discover opportunities for STEAM graduates in NI are increasing

“Opportunities for STEAM graduates in Northern Ireland are limitless” was the message from Randox at this year’s World Space Week. Students taking part in the UN event came together today in Armagh Planetarium to learn about the career pathways available to them in this industry.

Engineers, scientists and graphic designers in the world-leading diagnostics company have this year alone participated in creating a biochip that identifies risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease to designing the logo for this year’s Grand National as part of the company’s sponsorship of one of the world’s most popular steeplechases.

Randox has embarked on a significant recruitment drive following the announcement of a £161m investment in the Randox Science Park, at the site of the former Massereene barracks in Antrim and a €25m investment in Randox Teoranta, in Dungloe, County Donegal.

One of the people invited to address the students at the STEAM careers talk was 27 year old Sean Rafferty, a Software DevOps Team Leader. He joined Randox full-time two years ago after graduating with a first class honours in Computing Science from the University of Ulster.

“There has never been a better time to consider a career within the STEAM industry. Employer demand is growing, supported by top-level understanding that future economic success depends on increasing the number of highly-skilled STEAM workers. There is a rich variety of positions available and on a personal level, I love what I do in software design, particularly within problem solving.

“One of the key messages I can give to students is to avail of all opportunities to fully equip themselves for the work force, and participate in industry placements. A common concern reported in business surveys is that people lack that essential knowledge. Randox has always supported new talent through our competitive student and graduate programs which have been running for over 25 years. This year we had our highest intake and many of those people will secure full-time jobs with us once they finish.”

Randox is creating more than 1000 new jobs in software and mechanical engineering, life sciences and other fields over the next four years. To find the placement programme or job that suits you, please visit:  http://careers.randox.com/

For further information, please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email nicola.mchugh@randox.com


Clinical Laboratory Survey