I love Chicago, and I was more than happy to travel there for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Meeting and the Clinical Lab Expo, which is also sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Despite the annoyance of being forced to wait up to half an hour for shuttles to and from McCormick Place and the hotel (I don’t even want to think about Bus  No. 1), the Clinical Lab Expo proved to be a great opportunity to see numerous lab products in a single venue.

I visited many exhibits during the 3-day show, and I can certainly empathize with those of you who must research, review, and make decisions about which products to use in your labs. As always, CLP is here to help. You’ll find many, many product profiles each month in the pages of this magazine; and this month, I’m giving you a quick look at some of the products at the Clinical Lab Expo that I believe deserve a closer look.

New products that could make a difference in hematology testing include HemoCue’s new single-analyte point-of-care testing system for the determination of total white blood cell count. This product is designed to be a valuable tool in the rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections when it receives clearance from the FDA. In addition, Sysmex America Inc introduced its new XS hematology system for smaller laboratories and for those looking for a backup analyzer for the XE or XT models. The company showcased its entire X-Series product line; all use like reagents, controls, and user interfaces.

Iris Sample Processing Inc featured its new StatSpin Express 3 primary tube centrifuge, which processes as many as eight samples at once. It can be placed next to any analyzer for stat chemistry, cardiac, or coagulation testing. Plasma or serum is obtained in as few as 2 minutes.

The importance of testing children for lead poisoning cannot be overemphasized. The new LeadCare II from Magellan Biosciences will bring testing closer to the patient for faster results and treatment. LeadCare II, an updated version of the LeadCare blood-lead testing system developed by Magellan subsidiary ESA Biosciences, delivers quantitative results from a finger-stick sample in 3 minutes. Official launch of the system is contingent upon its receipt of CLIA classification as a waived device.

Since many factors, including water quality, can affect test results, Millipore Corp introduced the Elix® clinical system with its BioPak™ final filter. This water-purification solution is designed to remove alkaline phosphatase, a key contaminant that could present a risk for poor or inconsistent test results.

All in all, Clinical Lab Expo was an excellent showcase for the many new and exciting products and technological developments that will help you run a more efficient lab, and we appreciate the opportunity to keep you informed about those products year-round.

Finally, this month, we introduce WebPlus, which offers extended versions of some of the articles published in the magazine. To see more comprehensive versions of our special feature on infection control in the lab (page 50) and the Inside Track interview about LGP Consulting (page 58), visit our Web site at www.clpmag.com. Each month, we’ll point you to WebPlus articles designed to provide you with more of the compelling content you’ve come to expect from CLP. Enjoy!