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Matrix News

Industry news roundup for July-August 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence advises against using gabapentinoids for sciatica

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released guidelines in which it advises against using oral corticosteroids, gabapentinoids and other antiepileptics for managing sciatica.

This comes as a 2020 update of the original set of guidelines published in 2016.

NICE highlighted the problem of withdrawal issues associated with gabapentinoids.

The organisation advised prescribers that there is limited evidence in favour of prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for sciatica.

The updated guidelines were partly released because gabapentinoids became a Schedule 3 controlled drug in 2019.

Ontario mining company the first to try a new rapid COVID-19 test

There is a new rapid COVID-19 test on the market that helps determine whether someone is a carrier of the novel coronavirus.

Not only is the new COVID-19 test from Precision Biomonitoring mobile, but it also does not require a lab setting and it promises to deliver accurate results in less than an hour.

According to Renaud Adams, the CEO of Ontario mining company New Gold, which is trying out the test, the company has zero active cases and intends to keep it that way.

As it is classified as an essential service, the company has managed to remain operational throughout the pandemic.

Despite having social distancing efforts in place, the company’s 150 workers still share living spaces in trailers and use the cafeteria to dine together.

The company received the Precision Biomonitoring test kits last month.

Inside, there is everything necessary for conducting a COVID-19 test, including:

  • A machine analyser
  • Tubes with reagents

The machine analyser’s dimensions enable it to fit into a person’s hand.

Precision Biomonitoring also provides videoconference training on how to use the test kits properly.

The tests are administered via a swab, and up to nine samples can be taken at a time.

The results are displayed in a smartphone app and delivered in less than an hour.

Precision Biomonitoring claims that the tests have a 98% accuracy.

New COVID-19 testing rules in the US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ruled that antibody testing for coronavirus yields questionable results, and therefore it does not meet the ADA’s strict standards for medical testing.

The problem with this type of antibody testing is that it shows whether a person contracted COVID-19 at a certain point in their life.

Such a result is not relevant to workplace safety because even non-contagious individuals would be flagged as positive.

If an employee has to take the test as a condition for returning to work, it could result in the employer discriminating against them.

Moreover, the CDC warns that over 200 antibody tests have flooded the market lately, but they are not a reliable means of testing.

Those who are looking to stay compliant with the ADA’s testing standards should consider temperature checks and swab testing, both of which test for active infections and therefore give the kinds of results that are relevant when it comes to workplace safety.

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