AACC’s “Professional Practice in Clinical Chemistry: Supporting Patient Care from Cradle to Grave” conference this April is quickly approaching. Among its outstanding offerings, session three on the second day will focus on the emergency department and the overdosed patient. In the latter, Kara Lynch, PhD, DABCC, associate division chief of clinical chemistry and toxicology at San Francisco General Hospital, will make two presentations: “All Things Are Poison: So What Should We Test For?” and “Drug Testing: The Moving Target.”

The “All Things Are Poison” session will highlight poisoning and overdose trends in the United States, as well as the laboratory’s role in poisoning evaluation. “Essential laboratory tests, best practice guidelines/recommendations, and laboratory methodologies will be discussed,” Lynch told CLN Stat. “Case studies will highlight characteristic laboratory findings caused by common overdoses and drug toxicities.”

The "Drug Testing” session will provide an overview of the “emerging novel psychoactive substances, drugs of abuse, and therapeutics being used today,” Lynch explained. “The advantages and disadvantages of the various laboratory methods for detection of these compounds will be discussed. Case studies will highlight the role of the laboratory in confirming exposure to these emerging drugs.”

These sessions should be of interest to laboratorians because of the need to be “aware of emerging drug use trends and the clinical and laboratory findings associated with common drug overdoses,” Lynch said. “Following these presentations, laboratorians should be able to assess the testing needs of their hospital/clients and determine which methods are necessary for evaluating common overdoses and emerging toxins.”

The “Professional Practice in Clinical Chemistry” conference will be held in Philadelphia, April 26-30, 2015. In addition to the above two sessions, additional sessions will cover everything from developing new lab tests to glimpsing the future of lab regulations, quality control and laboratory management.

“The conference is geared toward anyone who is interested in laboratory medicine, not just post-doctoral trainees, but also those who have been working in laboratories and want to learn about other areas,” says James H. Nichols, PhD, DABCC, FACB, committee chair for this course and a professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology and medical director for clinical chemistry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

The cost to attend this indispensable educational experience—which offers 37 ACCENT credits and 37 CME credits—is $995 for AACC members and $1,220 for non-members.