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Clinical Laboratory

Clinical Laboratory

The clinical laboratory at Children's Hospital completes about 500,000 tests a year for doctors. These tests will either provide a diagnosis of your child's illness or provide follow-up monitoring of a disease. The laboratory receives specimens from across the hospital through a tube system.

If you are referred to the laboratory by a doctor, you must register with the admitting desk before coming to the laboratory. Appointments are usually not needed for outpatient laboratory visits. Your primary care doctor or Children's Hospital specialist will let you know if you need to schedule an appointment at a specific time.

Our laboratory staff will help your child through the tests, especially those that may involve a slight amount of pain, like drawing blood. The lab uses equipment specifically made for pediatric patients. The staff will talk to your child during the preparation and procedure. Each brave patient receives his choice of stickers after the test is complete.

The patient laboratory rooms are outfitted to accommodate wheelchairs and newborns. You will be able to accompany your child to the room for the test. The laboratory will send your child's test results to your doctor or specialist. You will receive information from your own doctor.

The laboratory is open 24/7 and can be found on the first floor of Children's Hospital.

Laboratory Sections

The laboratory is divided into hematology, chemistry, blood bank, microbiology and laboratory support. Each section has state-of-the-art machines that analyze tests from each of those disciplines.

The staff at the laboratory completes simple tests like complete blood counts and complete metabolic panels for routine physicals. They also complete more complicated procedures including:

  • Culturing specimens to see if harmful bacteria is growing
  • Counting cells in blood under microscopes
  • Testing for elevated enzymes in blood specimens
  • Monitoring antibiotic and other medication levels
  • Testing for drugs of abuse

Our laboratory blood bank cross-matches blood from donors with blood from the patient to confirm compatibility for transfusions. The section also completes coagulation tests that measure the blood's ability to clot, plus urinalysis and serology tests that can identify other medical conditions.

The laboratory oversees glucometer testing across the hospital. This test determines how much glucose is in your child's blood. It requires a small prick to obtain a drop of blood.

Our phlebotomy team works across the hospital to collect specimens. Each phlebotomist carries a MobiLab, which is a handheld device through which they can get information about patients and print patient labels for samples. Each time a phlebotomist takes a specimen from your child, he will scan your child's arm band to make sure the patient information and test needed are correct.

Children's Hospital's laboratory can complete more than 400 different tests. For genetic testing and other specialized diagnostic work, we send specimens to other reliable laboratories.