Various Specialties in Clinical Chemistry | Blood & Stool

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Major Areas of Concentration

We focus on the basis for optical methods such as absorbance and turbidimetry, the differences between endpoint and rate reactions — the measurement principles that are most often used to determine concentrations of analytes in the clinical chemistry laboratory. The information we present is intended to serve the basic educational needs of new medical laboratory scientists who are entering the field of clinical laboratory medicine. Anyone associated with the specialty of clinical chemistry or the clinical laboratory will find this information of interest. Typical readers should include medical laboratory technicians and medical technologists, laboratory supervisors and managers, nurses, laboratory support personnel and physician office laboratory personnel. We draw most attention to various specialties such as biochemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, serology, toxicology, urinalysis, and focus on the major specialty of clinical biochemistry — which encompasses a wide variety of analytes: enzymes, lipids, electrolytes, metabolites etc.

Our Skills

Biochemistry
Toxicology
Microbiology
Immunology
Physiology

Services Offered to Intended Audience

Given that the concept of evidence-based medicine is evolving as limitations to early models are addressed — we present a new model for evidence-based clinical decision making — based on patients' circumstances and best research evidence — with a central intent for clinical expertise to integrate both components. In order to offer the most benefit, we present each service on our home page with an overview containing an elaborate set of diagnostic objectives so you can quickly review the goal and content. Each icon links to a page that focuses on key concepts which are presented in the overview. At the end of each page, a set of linking icons are introduced to encourage further reading. When an icon is properly clicked or pressed, the appropriate content which may be reviewed is loaded in a new window. We include social media linking icons, reference pdf and resources devoted to other recommended reading — for more details or further study. We use manual and semi-automated methods to examine both very common and esoteric analytes, mix basic chemistry with biochemistry, microbiology, informatics and other disciplines, and overlap with other major areas of concentration — in particular, immunology, physiology and toxicology. Owing to the scope and depth of clinical chemistry, many reliable reagents have been developed on the subject.

A Model for Evidence Based Clinical Decision Making

Proficiency and Judgment

We identify different types of biologic specimens that may be used for testing, and use the best available external evidence to describe how the results we obtain from various tests could be interpreted.

Blood Testing

The clinical chemistry reagents we use are routinely improved in order to keep pace with the new challenges which are presented in this dynamic field. We identify the scope of clinical chemistry testing including the types of biologic samples that are typically analyzed and how test results may be interpreted. The enclosed information is not intended as a primer on the subject, but introduces basic concepts which are intended to provide patients, nurses, physicians and others interested in the field, with the minimal fundamentals. It is hoped that this answers most of the elementary questions on blood's chemistry and would stimulate further interest in the subject. You are encouraged to consult the suggested reference links and pdf resources, for more comprehensive and detailed information about this important specialty area.

Key Concepts

Our tests measure concentrations or activities of substances (ions, molecules, complexes) in body fluids. These tests may use different kinds of body fluid such as whole blood, plasma, serum, and urine. The medical interpretation of test results is based on the comparison to reference intervals which typically reflect the range of values expected for healthy people or a medical decision level for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Clinical chemistry is a quantitative science. We are concerned with measurement of amounts of biologically important substances in body fluids. The methods used to measure these substances are carefully designed to provide accurate assessments of the concentrations of biologically important ions (salts and minerals), small organic molecules and large macromolecules (primarily proteins).

Sample Collection for Diagnosis

The practice of evidence-based medicine entails integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. The process to obtain a result is divided into three main phases — the pre-analytical, the analytical and the post-analytical phase. Factors affecting the pre-analytical phase, i.e., before the biological material is collected, can be further divided into controllable and uncontrollable factors. The controllable factors include, for example, adherence to some daily regimen, dietary habits, etc. Uncontrollable factors are variables such as age, gender, race, etc. Factors influencing the pre-analytical phase during the biological material collection are primarily related to the work of the sample-collecting nurse, who has to keep in mind the basic sampling principles that may affect the result of the test. In particular, such principles include collection timing, selecting the appropriate collection set, the patient's position during the collection, venostasis and local metabolism effects, as well as the effect of infusion and transfusion in the hospital environment. Without clinical expertise, practice risks becoming tyrannised by evidence, for even excellent external evidence may be inapplicable to or inappropriate for an individual patient.

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Our purpose is to make the world a better place, by using life-changing technologies to provide more effective and efficient diagnosis to the people who need it.