We Are Randox | Environmental Manager Charles McGonagle on protecting local wildlife

We Are Randox | Environmental Manager Charles McGonagle on protecting local wildlife

As a global company with its roots firmly planted in Northern Ireland’s glorious countryside, we’re extremely proud of the beautiful scenery that surrounds our County Antrim headquarters.

With an abundance of flora, fauna and natural wildlife living on the shores of Lough Neagh – where we have our offices – we know the importance of looking after the environment. After all, at Randox HQ we are lucky enough to admire the view from our office windows every day.

That’s why we have a dedicated Environmental Management team at Randox – whose role it is to prevent pollution, reduce waste, recycle consistently, and in general, to control and reduce the risks to air, land and water.

In this month’s #WeAreRandox interview, we chat to Charles McGonagle, Randox Environmental Manager, about a typical day in his job, the importance of respecting your local environment, and what it is that makes his career so worthwhile.

Here’s Charles’ story.

We’re very lucky that at Randox we get to work in such a beautiful part of the Northern Irish countryside. Our headquarters are located just outside Crumlin, near the International Airport, and sit just on the edge of Lough Neagh, the biggest lake in UK and Ireland.

It was recently named one of the Top 100 global sustainable destinations – an initiative which aims to recognise tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously. And that’s certainly what we do here at Randox.

We take our environmental responsibility very seriously, not only because of our location, but also because we owe much of our 35 years of success to the support from the local community in which Randox was raised – so we like to give back when we can.

Each year our team plant a new area of trees around Lough Neagh, to make sure the area continues to develop and flourish. In addition to its rich collection of trees, badgers, squirrels, insects and mushrooms, there are also 100,000 birds who flock to Lough Neagh during the winter, coming from places as far away as Canada, Iceland and Russia, and we’re passionate about maintaining this sort of wildlife diversity in the Lough.

Everyone at Randox has their role to play in achieving this aim – not just the Environmental team. A typical day for me would involve a site visit to a particular area of the company, to monitor its activity and environmental performance, and identify areas for improvement, so every day I’m in a different area, learning something new and interesting about the company.  With such diversity in the activities and processes the environmental team are involved in, everyone across the company gets the opportunity to review and evaluate their impact on the environment.

Whether a scientist or marketer, manufacturing operative or salesperson, we all make an effort to reduce our waste where we can – for example by turning off our computers, heating and lighting when not in use, and maintaining our equipment properly so we maximise their efficiency. In our attempts to reduce our atmosphere emissions and energy use, every little helps!

Our engineering and manufacturing team, in particular, take environmental factors into consideration daily – whether the material they have chosen is environmentally friendly, if their processes are efficient and if waste material can be recycled.

And our training department has also recently moved onto a paperless data management system to reduce our impact on the environment even more.

I think that’s one of the most rewarding things about my job – seeing people get involved and engaged in ways in which we can improve our environmental friendliness. As someone who is passionate about protecting and improving the environment – I studied Environmental Management at university and then worked with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute – I feel very lucky to work in a company which places such importance on looking after the environment and reducing its carbon footprint.

Randox are constantly trying to find more ways to reduce environmental impact, contribute to the reduction of global CO2 emissions, and make sure that this area of outstanding natural beauty in County Antrim is preserved for many generations to come.

 

For further information on what we do at Randox to protect the local environment, please contact the Randox PR Team: phone 028 9442 2413 or email randoxpr@randox.com 

 


Randox Quality Control Celebrate British Science Week 2018!

This British Science Week 2018, Randox Quality Control are celebrating the hard work our team puts in every day, to help bring the best Quality Control products to the market. 

We caught up with Edward Hill, QC Product Specialist, to explain a bit about what his role involves and how Randox QC are impacting on global healthcare!

What is your position and what does it involve?

I am a QC Product Specialist at Randox Laboratories. This is a hugely varied role, and some of my general duties involve; creating educational material for laboratory professionals, conducting competitor comparisons to ensure we are always one step ahead of the competition, staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and thinking of new and innovative ways to interact with our customer-base.

For those of us who aren’t in the industry, can you give us a brief snapshot of what Quality Control is and why we use it?

When a patient has their blood/urine/serum etc. taken, it must be sent to the laboratory for analysis. Laboratory professionals run the patient sample on a clinical instrument, which gives a quantitative result for each analyte. However, the laboratory professional does not know whether the value given by the instrument is correct or not. For this reason, the laboratory professional must use a Quality Control – which is a material designed to mimic the patient sample, and has a known concentration of each analyte.

When the laboratory professional runs the QC material on their instrument, they can compare the obtained result with the expected result. If these values are comparable, then the laboratory professional can be confident that their instrument is reporting accurately. Essentially, QC is a ‘practice run’ to ensure the testing system is working correctly.

How does your teams’ work impact on global healthcare?

Quality Control is a hugely important part of laboratory quality. Around 70% of clinical decisions are made based on laboratory results, so it is plain to see how significant Quality Control practices can be in relation to global health care. My work, as well as the work of the wider Quality Control team, is focused on making end-users aware of the importance of Quality Control. We aim to provide advice and recommendations to optimise accuracy and efficiency.

As a company, Randox prioritizes quality above all else, and this ethos is perfectly reflected by the Quality Control team. We work tirelessly to provide quality products and simplify the entire testing process – giving the laboratory professionals more time to do what they do best; provide accurate results time and time again.

What is your favourite Randox QC product and why?

My favourite QC product is the Acusera Liquid Cardiac Control. It’s my favourite control because it perfectly displays all the advantages of Acusera in a single product:

  • Highly consolidated analyte list without any unnecessary extras, keeping costs low
  • True third party
  • Manufactured with 100% human serum, giving full commutability
  • Liquid ready-to-use and suitable for POC testing
  • Clinically relevant ranges, with ultra-low levels of Troponin I
  • Long open vial stability of 30 days

Competitors often offer additional low level Troponin I controls. The thing I like most about the Acusera Liquid Cardiac Control is that the Troponin I levels are still lower than the ‘ultra-low level’ competitor controls – showing that Acusera gets it right the first time, rather than supplementing weak QC products with additional products at an extra cost.

Listen to our 24.7 podcast with QC Product Specialist, Edward Hill.
Find out more about British Science Week 2018.
If you would like further information on our Quality Control Products, contact acusera@randox.com.

British Science Week
British Science Week
British Science Week
British Science Week
British Science Week

Looking after your kidney health during your pregnancy

With this year’s World Kidney Day theme focusing on women’s health and in particular, their kidney health, the campaign is drawing attention to the need for a higher awareness, timely diagnosis and proper follow-up of kidney issues amongst women.

One key area being highlighted by the campaign is the close links between pregnancy and kidney health problems.  The two are intrinsically connected – with CKD considered a high-risk factor for problematic pregnancies and reduced fertility, and in turn, pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia, can increase the risk of kidney disease.

Although not commonly known, women who have Chronic Kidney Disease are at increased risk of hypertensive disorders and premature births – which can be devastating for all involved.

Women with Chronic Kidney Disease who become pregnant also usually have mild kidney dysfunction, the severity of which will depend on the stage the CKD is at.

It is clear therefore that there is a need for increased awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease in pregnancy, to timely identify its existence before conception, and to monitor its progress before, during and after birth.

With a comprehensive panel of kidney health tests, Randox are working to ensure timely diagnosis of kidney function problems, to ensure that necessary treatment is administered at the earliest possible stage, when it is most likely to be successful.

Pregnant women, or women hoping to get pregnant in the future, can therefore determine their kidney health and be empowered to embark upon the necessary lifestyle changes or treatment required to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

For example, the Randox test for albumin, low concentrations of which are the earliest marker of kidney damage, can identify individuals with diabetic nephropathy (damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes) around 10 years earlier than standard protein tests. The Randox albumin test can therefore enable preventative measures to be taken to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.

In addition to albumin, there are a number of other highly specific and sensitive tests for kidney health, which are available as part of a Randox Health Check at our Randox Health Clinics. These include;

  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate, which is an equation that considers age, gender, blood and protein levels to determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • Creatinine, which is a waste product produced by muscle tissue, and removed by the kidneys. When kidney function is diminished, creatinine levels increase.
  • Other proteins within the body which should be filtered by the kidneys, and are therefore measured to determine kidney function, include;

–              Cystatin C

–              Beta-2-Microglobulin

–              Microalbumin, which is not usually found in urine, but can appear when normal kidney function is impaired.

  • Minerals processed by the kidneys and analysed by Randox Health include;

–              Magnesium

–              Calcium

–              Phosphate

–              Potassium

–              Sodium

Both World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare worldwide. With access to these high-performance kidney health tests, expectant mothers with kidney problems can be diagnosed early, before the condition develops into something more serious – keeping both you, and your baby healthy.

With early diagnosis we can improve patient treatment outcomes and reduce the number of people across the world suffering with kidney health problems.

 

If you are a clinician or lab interested in running renal function assays, download our Reagents Brochure or email reagents@randox.com

If you want to find out the status of your own Kidney Health, book a health check with Randox Health today. Speak to our team by phoning 0800 2545 130.

 

 

 


Randox Testing Services: Customer Testimonials from Ireland

At Randox Testing Services (RTS), we pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment. Using our accurate and reliable testing methods and a range of additional services including training and policy reviews, we create tailored packages to meet the needs of our customers. We work with customers all over the world, but this month are highlighting the work we are doing across Ireland.

This month RTS will be attending the Northern Ireland Occupational Health, Hygiene and Wellbeing Conference at Titanic Belfast. This conference brings together companies from a range of industries all across Ireland to discuss the importance of employee health and wellbeing. As a company that began in Northern Ireland, RTS have always had strong connections with local businesses and are continually expanding our reach across Ireland.

Some of the companies with which we currently work, like GRAHAM construction, have recently provided feedback on our services. GRAHAM is based in Hillsborough, Co. Down and is a national construction, asset management and project investment business. They deliver services to a diverse range of clients from a network of regional offices, throughout the UK and Ireland.

GRAHAM Construction are proud to be partnered with Randox as their main Drug & Alcohol Service Provider. Over the years they have given a consistent, prompt, efficient, and professional service that delivered what was promised, when promised, to the proper agreed standards, which assists us in managing our relevant responsibilities with ease and confidence. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”

This is great feedback to receive from such a reputable company who have a range of different testing needs. The construction industry is becoming more and more proactive when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. At RTS our experience working with GRAHAM and other major construction firms across the UK and Ireland means we are extremely well equipped to deal with the changing needs of this industry.

Another industry which requires a flexible and reliable drug and alcohol testing services provider is the aviation industry, especially when it comes to recruitment. We have been working with CAE Parc Aviation Services, the global leader in the provision of aviation personnel and support services to conduct pre-employment testing.

“We use Randox for Pre-Employment and Random Drug & Alcohol testing for select clients. We would happily recommend their services.”

Again, through working with various industries, the experience our staff possess is second to none. By qualifying the exact needs of our customers we create customised, cost-effective packages to ensure all testing needs are met.

As well as offering drug and alcohol testing services, our complete solution also includes a host of training, educational and consultancy services to equip our customers in tackling drug and alcohol misuse. Including comprehensive chain of custody training programs, which enables employers to conduct on-site collections to the same standard as a Randox Testing Services collection specialist.

The Henderson Group in Newtownabbey are another large company that has availed of the services offered by Randox Testing Services. The Henderson Group are the owners of the SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO, ViVOXTRA and ViVO Essentials franchises in Northern Ireland and have been distributing food and grocery-related products to the convenience retail sector for over 100 years.

“We switched provider for our Drug and Alcohol policy almost two years ago, moving to Randox.  The switchover was relatively seamless and the impact on our business has been positive.  Our tests are now all completed within target and we have realised a saving to boot.  We are glad we made the switch.”

 

 

Randox Testing Services is committed to tailoring our service to the needs of customers all over the world, and across the island of Ireland.

If your company would like to speak to us, please contact testingservices@randox.com

Alternatively you can contact David O’Regan, the Business Development Executive for Ireland directly: David.O’Regan@randox.com.

 

 


Randox Reagents are Supporting World Kidney Day 2018

On 8th March 2018, Randox Reagents are supporting World Kidney Day!  World Kidney Day is an annual campaign and partnership to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

 

This year, the World Kidney Day theme is: “Kidney Disease and Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower”.  Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths per year.

 

Chronic kidney disease in women has increased over the years.  Women over the age of 50 and African American women have seen the highest rise of kidney failure.  This has been attributed to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.  It is important that women are screened for renal impairment as although treatment of kidney disease in men and women are the same, the complications associated with renal impairment in women is greater than in men.  The complications women are faced with due to renal impairment include: irregular periods, diminished sex drive and difficulties conceiving.  Whilst it is difficult for a woman with renal impairment to conceive, it is not impossible, however, 50% of babies born to women on dialysis survived with most being born prematurely due to high blood pressure.  There are several measures that women can take to reduce their likelihood of developing renal impairment or manage their symptoms including; lifestyle changes, medication to control associated problems, dialysis and kidney transplant.

 

The standard marker for renal functional is creatinine as creatinine clearance gives a measure of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), however, creatinine levels are unreliable in individuals who are obese, malnourished, have liver cirrhosis or reduced muscle mass.  Due to this, Randox developed an automated test for Cystatin C, a superior marker of kidney dysfunction.

 

The Randox Cystatin C assay

Cystatin C is a small (13kDa) cysteine proteinase inhibitor that is produced at a constant rate by all nucleated cells.  The small molecular weight of cystatin C allows it to be completely removed and broken down by the kidneys.  Therefore, levels remain steady if the kidneys are working efficiently and the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is normal.

There are several studies that have documented the superiority of cystatin C compared to creatinine as a marker of GFR function.  Unlike creatinine, cystatin C does not have a ‘blind area’ meaning it is extremely sensitive to very small changes in GFR and therefore capable of detecting early reductions in GFR.  Up to 50% of renal function can be lost before significant creatinine levels are detected.  GFR estimates based on cystatin C are less influenced by diet or muscle mass compared to GFR estimates based on creatinine, therefore, Cystatin C is also beneficial if the patient is overweight, elderly or has a lot of muscle mass. Cystatin C is also beneficial if previous kidney function tests were inconclusive.

World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare globally.  With continuous investment into R&D, Randox are striving to develop the earliest biomarker for renal function to prevent serious complications.

 

For more information, download our High Performance & Unique Tests Brochure or email reagents@randox.com.

Cystatin C

 

 

For health professionals

If you are a clinician or laboratory who are interested in running renal function assays, Randox offer a wide range of high-quality routine and niche assays including:  Albumin, Ammonia, β2- Microglobulin, Calcium, Chloride, Creatinine Enzymatic and Jaffe, Cystatin C, Glucose, HbA1c, IgG, LDH, Magnesium, Microalbumin, Phosphorus (Inorganic), Potassium, Sodium, Urea, Uric Acid, and Urinary Protein. These can be run on most automated biochemistry analysers.

For more information, download our High Performance & Unique Tests Brochure or email reagents@randox.com.


Understanding your heart health with Randox Health

Today in the UK, on average, 530 people will be admitted to hospital with a heart attack – even though 75% of heart disease is preventable.

Why wait?

At Randox Health, we believe in preventing disease, instead of waiting for it to occur. We do this through our comprehensive health checks, which use innovative Randox technology to provide you with up to 350 test results, covering over 25 different areas within the body. One of those areas is the heart, by using our ‘Heart Health test panel’. This panel offers up to 21 tests, including a cardiovascular risk score, which assesses your risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.

Our Heart Health panel also measures apolipoproteins, which are proteins which bind cholesterol for transport around the body. Measuring apolipoproteins along with traditional cholesterol markers, such as LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol, gives us a much more detailed understanding of your Heart Health, compared to using traditional cholesterol levels alone. A unique test in our panel can identify damage to heart muscle, which can occur with a heart attack.

It’s in the genes

As well as our comprehensive Heart Health panel, offered within our programmes, Randox Health also offer more specialised cardiac testing.

Taking cardiac risk assessment one step further, our Cardiac Risk Prediction testing can predict your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) using not only traditional cholesterol and blood pressure measurements, but using advanced genetic testing. Such testing will combine various genetic tests known to be associated with increased risk of CHD, along with measurements such as blood pressure and cholesterol to calculate and provide you with an overall CHD risk score.

If you have high cholesterol, or heart disease runs in your family, you may benefit from our Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) genetic screen. FH is a hereditary condition involving high cholesterol levels and a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. FH occurs in approximately 1 in every 250 people worldwide and it is thought that 90% of individuals with the condition remain undiagnosed! At Randox Health we recognise the importance of detecting this condition as early as possible; therefore, we offer testing which can check simultaneously for several genetic mutations known to be involved in FH. Early diagnosis and treatment of FH significantly improves and lengthens the lives of those affected, as well as saving the lives of their beloved family members.

To find out more, click here or call 0800 2545 130 and one of our team will be able to discuss this in more detail with you.

 


We are attending Bee Happy Bulgaria 2018 on 1st – 4th March!

Bees and other pollinators are vital to three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in serious decline in recent decades. The destruction of wild habitats, disease and widespread pesticide use are all important factors.

Global honey production is projected to reach 2.4 million tons by 2022 this is driven by a growth in consumers demand for a natural and healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners, a rising awareness over the benefits of using honey as a sweetener over cane sugar and the realisation of the antibacterial and inflammatory properties of manuka honey.

The decline in the numbers of bees and rising demand from consumers for natural honey products has created a market for “illegal honey” being produced to supply the demand. Producers ‘cut’ their honey with additives like high-fructose corn syrup and brand it as natural honey, affecting purity and reducing cost.

‘Honey laundering’ has also become an issue, with countries such as China using non FDA approved chemicals within beekeeping and being non-compliant to regulations causing their honey to be banned from entering the USA. To get around this, Chinese honey is being shipped into countries such as Vietnam where it is then re labelled and moved into the USA with a new country of origin on the label. This has created the need for a reliable and accurate way to test honey globally.

In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample. Tests for honey include a vast range of antimicrobials such as Quinolones, Streptomycin, Chloramphenicol, Nitrofurans and more. Randox Food Diagnostics are also releasing a pesticides array in early 2018. Also offered are a range of ELISA test kits.

Alongside the evidence Investigator Randox Food Diagnostics developed the RX misano for enzymatic analysis of honey. The RX misano is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural) & colouration, with sucrose coming in 2018.

Randox Food Diagnostics will be attending Bee Happy Expo in Bulgaria from 1st – 4th March 2018 Stop by booth 25 or catch our presentation on Saturday 3rd March at 14:30 to learn more about our product offering for honey.

 

For more information visit the Randox Food Diagnostics website at: http://www.randoxfood.com/matrices/honey

Or email: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com


Take a proactive approach to your kidney health this World Kidney Day

On 8th March 2018, it’s World Kidney Day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of good kidney health. With a similar agenda to that of Randox, whose vision it is to ensure patients across the globe have access to the latest advancements in health technology, World Kidney Day works to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems.

This year, the World Kidney Day theme is Kidneys and Women’s Health, to highlight that approximately 195 million women worldwide are affected by Chronic Kidney Disease. In 2018 World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day are recognised on the same date, offering the perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of women’s health and specifically their kidney health.

CKD is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year.

According to some studies, CKD is more likely to develop in women compared with men, with an average 14% prevalence in women compared to 12% in men.

However, the number of women successfully put on dialysis for their Chronic Kidney Disease is lower than the number of men – potentially due to slower progression of the disease, inequitable access to transplantation, and a general lower disease awareness.

It is therefore fitting that World Kidney Day has chosen Women’s Health as its theme for this year – due to the clear need for a higher awareness, timely diagnosis and proper follow up of kidney issues amongst women.

With a comprehensive panel of kidney health tests, Randox are working to ensure timely diagnosis of kidney function problems, to ensure that necessary treatment is administered at the earliest possible stage, when it is most likely to be successful.

For example, the Randox test for albumin, low concentrations of which are the earliest marker of kidney damage, can identify individuals with diabetic nephropathy (damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes) around 10 years earlier than standard protein tests. The Randox albumin test can therefore enable preventative measures to be taken to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.

In addition to albumin, there are a number of other highly specific and sensitive tests for kidney health, which are available as part of a Randox Health Check at our Randox Health Clinics. These include;

  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate, which is an equation that considers age, gender, blood and protein levels to determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • Creatinine, which is a waste product produced by muscle tissue, and removed by the kidneys. When kidney function is diminished, creatinine levels increase.
  • Other proteins within the body which should be filtered by the kidneys, and are therefore measured to determine kidney function, include;
  • Cystatin C
  • Beta-2-Microglobulin
  • Microalbumin, which is not usually found in urine, but can appear when normal kidney function is impaired.
  • Minerals processed by the kidneys and analysed by Randox Health include;
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

Both World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare worldwide. With access to these high-performance kidney health tests, patients with kidney problems can be diagnosed early, before the condition develops into something more serious.

Although end stage kidney failure affects only 0.05% of the general population, it commands between one and two billion pounds a year of the entire annual NHS budget. We know that loss of kidney function is devastating and hope our innovations can identify those at risk of kidney problems before they occur.

One such test for Chronic Kidney Disease risk measures levels of the protective hormone adiponectin, and is available exclusively at Randox.

Adiponectin can accurately assess levels of hidden and dangerous visceral fat within the body, which is the main cause of almost all the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome, including Chronic Kidney Disease. Assessing adiponectin can determine risk of CKD, as well as a range of other illnesses including prediabetes, cardiovascular disease and various cancers.

By using adiponectin to assess risk of kidney problems, we can empower individuals with the tools they need to prevent kidney problems in their future.

With early diagnosis we can improve patient treatment outcomes and reduce the number of people across the world suffering with kidney health problems.

If you are a clinician or lab interested in running renal function assays, download our Reagents Brochure or email reagents@randox.com

If you want to find out the status of your own Kidney Health, book a health check with Randox Health today. Speak to our team by phoning 0800 2545 130.

 


Clinical Laboratory Survey