We are the leader in comprehensive pathology and lab services.
A wide range of laboratory functions in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease is covered under clinical pathology. Specially trained health care providers often direct divisions of the laboratory including:
- Clinical chemistry and biology
- Blood bank, toxicology, and hematology
- Immunology and serology, and microbiology
Maintenance of information systems, quality control, and research are also involved in our pathology laboratory in Los Angeles. Laboratories require strict protocol in handling, testing, and disposing of specimens used in the testing process. Using microscopes and a variety of other diagnostic tools, clinical pathologists look at blood, urine and other body fluids to measure chemical levels or any substances existing in the body. They will then make a diagnosis or determine further studies that may be needed based on the outcomes of testing.
Different types of specimens are used for testing in a clinical pathology laboratory in Los Angeles. Blood may be tested as a whole, as plasma, or as a serum. It is commonly drawn from the forearm or a finger prick depending on the quantity needed for a specific test to be carried out. Urine specimens are collected through random method, clean catch (cleaning the outside of genitals before catching urine in a cup) or sterile method (using a catheter). The technician may also need the patient to do a timed test to measure substances in the urine over a certain period. Sputum (phlegm)can be examined after being coughed into a clean cup. Feces may be collected in a cardboard or plastic container for testing. Other body fluids may be tested including pleural fluids (from the area surrounding the lungs), spinal fluid, stomach fluids, joint fluids, and bone marrow.
Types of Testing
A large number of tests may be performed in a clinical pathology laboratory in Los Angeles, with some producing broad results to show other tests that may need to be performed. A chemistry screen can detect substances in the blood, sodium, potassium, calcium, glucose, and cholesterol, among other things. Health care providers may order more specific panels to test for the function of individual organs or systems such as the liver, kidneys, respiratory system and thyroid gland.
Complete blood count (CBC) or routine hematology tests are performed to monitor disorders that have previously been diagnosed as well as how well a patient is responding to treatment. Diabetes is often diagnosed and tracked using A1C testing on a regular basis. Molecular bacteriology and virology is used to find the cause of infection as bacterial or viral. This helps to choose the correct treatment for a specific patient.
Immunology testing shows the condition of the immune system to help diagnose autoimmune disorders as well as its ability to combat viruses and bacteria. Coagulation studies measure the clotting of blood to help in diagnosing clotting or bleeding disorders. Organ tissue testing is done before transplants to make sure the donor organ and the recipient are a good match and to work toward avoiding organ rejection by the recipient. Toxicology measures the levels of both legal and illegal drugs in the blood stream. It is used to identify poisons in the body, illegal drug use, and to observe levels of prescribed medications. It may also be used as a part of an autopsy to investigate the cause of death in a patient. A urinalysis can be used to diagnose the cause of pain and discomfort as well as monitoring medical conditions and identify drugs in the system.
A clinical pathology laboratory in Los Angeles must follow stringent quality controls in order to provide accurate test results in a timely manner. Accuracy is vital to the health of each patient and in some situations, results are needed immediately to save a life. Testing protocols must be followed at all times to ensure the integrity of the results that are given to health care providers. Special care must also be taken to properly dispose of body fluid specimens such as blood, urine, and feces which are considered bio-hazardous materials. Improper handling and disposal of these materials can be a danger to public health and the environment.
Why Do You Need a Quality Clinical Pathology Laboratory?
Clinical pathology is detrimental to quality diagnosis and treatment as well as long-term care for those suffering chronic illnesses. Accurate test results are key to obtaining a proper diagnosis for illnesses and diseases of all kinds. Patients may then go over treatment options with their health care provider. Our clinical pathology laboratory in Los Angeles gives patients the ability to make informed decisions in improving their health as well as their quality of life.