At the start of my PhD studies, my professor introduced me to a dried blood spot project for detecting salbutamol. He said it would be a good start for getting experience with the dried blood spot technique and it would take about three months to finish the project. It’s now three years later… but finally all experiments have finished. Moreover, a manuscript has been written, revised over and over again, declined by a journal, peer-reviewed, revised again, proof-read, accepted for publication and today it has been published online!
Check-out the online publication here or check out the next issue of the Journal of Asthma.
If you don’t like to read all 9 pages or if it’s too technical, try this summary:
Salbutamol is the most commonly used medicine to treat asthma. The exact dose needed for children with severe acute asthma admitted to the hospital is difficult to determine, particularly as most children will have already been given salbutamol in the community. When administered doses are too low, the child won’t be relieved from the respiratory symptoms. When the doses are too high, blood lactate levels increase thereby exacerbating respiratory failure and the children suffer a horrible tremor. Therefore, a method to determine salbutamol levels in children is needed to be able to estimate the best dose. Conventional blood collection by needle or cannulation in a vein is inconvenient for children. Besides being uncomfortable it’s also a relative large amount of blood compared to the total blood volume a child has. Collecting micro-volume samples of blood by a fingerprick could be a good alternative. Spotting those small volumes of blood onto a card or special device and letting them dry brings additional advantages. Storage and transport becomes easier, it’s cheaper, no specialist for collection is needed and there is a reduced risk of infectious disease transmission once dry.
Rebecca Cordell had started developing a method for the detection and quantification of salbutamol from dried blood spots, which I’ve validated in the lab. Together with the other authors we’ve also tested the method on samples from salbutamol dosed volunteers. In the future, the developed method can hopefully be applied to children with acute exacerbations of asthma who have received salbutamol. Or in a forensic setting to check if therapeutic doses have been taken or if higher doses have been administered as a doping agent during sports competitions.
Lastly, I would like to thank all other authors for the collaboration.
Time to celebrate now!