The clinical chemistry laboratory at RCHT is staffed by a mix of laboratory assistants, assistant practitioners and biomedical scientists who provide a 24/7 service every day of the year. We perform a wide range of tests on blood (serum and plasma), urine, stool, CSF, and other bodily fluid samples to provide information that contributes towards the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, and prognosis of patients’ conditions. The majority of our tests are performed using automated analysers, the running of which includes carrying out routine maintenance tasks, inventory management, calibrating tests and regularly performing and reviewing quality control checks.
When patient samples are tested on the analysers, any results that fall outside set ranges are held by laboratory software for authorisation; this involves a qualified biomedical scientist reviewing the results to determine whether they are valid and able reported. This is the point where issues such as sample contamination from IV fluids are identified. Results outside set reference ranges are telephoned to wards and GP surgeries to alert clinicians to results that may require urgent attention. We also perform a range of tests which require more manual techniques, requiring a high level of skill and training to perform.
A duty biochemist reviews and authorises results falling outside set ranges and they may add further investigations and comments to requests. The laboratory receives, prepares, and sends samples to external laboratories when a requested test is not currently performed in-house. The clinical chemistry team is very dedicated and hard-working one, and always aims to offer the best service it can provide.