How a Tiny Device Is Making a Big Difference for Pediatric Transplant Patients

An initiative at Nottingham University Hospital in Nottingham, England is making it easier for pediatric transplant patients and their caregivers to collect blood samples at home for therapeutic drug monitoring.

Imagine being a pediatric kidney transplant patient and having to miss school or extracurricular activities because of clinic appointments and routine blood tests. Now imagine being offered a take-home kit that has everything you and your caregivers need to collect a blood sample at home that can be shipped to a lab.

For patients like 14-year-old Josh Knapp, a kidney transplant patient in England, that choice became a reality, thanks to an initiative at Nottingham University Hospital designed to facilitate easier therapeutic drug monitoring of tacrolimus and creatinine. Made specifically for pediatric transplant patients, the kits were created by Monique Burgin, a specialist nurse, and Jon Jin Kim, a pediatric nephrologist. The kits include kid-friendly elements such as "finger-pricking good" lancets and "well done" stickers.

Torrance, CA-based Neoteryx has supplied its Mitra microsampling devices to the Nottingham pediatric nephrology team to use in the home monitoring kit. The Mitra device, based on the company's Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling technology, was designed to allow quantitative, volumetrically accurate capillary blood collection anywhere, anytime, with minimal training. Patients or their caregivers can take the blood samples from a finger-prick, the company said.

The Mitra microsampling device, based on Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling (VAMS™) technology, is easy to use and requires minimal training to collect a dependable blood specimen. It allows quantitative, volumetrically accurate capillary blood collection anywhere, anytime, by almost anyone, with minimal training.

“During a routine clinic appointment, we were told about the home testing initiative and the Mitra microsampling device, how it works, and how to use it,” said Caroline Knapp, Josh’s mother. “We were asked if we would like to try it. Josh, of course, being the typical 14-year-old with the prospect of trying something totally new that could lessen hospital visits and make blood sampling a lot easier, jumped at the chance. We can now sit at home and do a sample using the device, send it off, and get an accurate result without having to leave the comfort of our own home or Josh missing school – no driving for miles for blood tests.”

According to patient satisfaction data from Neoteryx, a whopping 93% of surveyed patients who used our microsampling devices said they would be “likely” or “very likely” to choose microsampling over venipuncture were they making the choice on behalf of a child. This speaks to the powerful applications for microsampling technology in the fraught realm of pediatric care.

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