Where Lab Tests Are Performed

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In a Hospital Laboratory

Almost all hospitals contain a laboratory, which is usually proportional in size to the population that it serves. Tests that are performed include those that are needed in emergency situations (such as markers for heart attacks and tests needed for checking the suitability of blood for transfusion) and those done in large numbers which require automated testing analysers.

Hospital laboratories are generally used by inpatients and outpatients for the particular hospital, and receive samples from GP surgeries in the immediate area, usually transported by a collection service organised by the local laboratory. However, as a patient you may never visit the laboratory unless your doctor asks you to go there to have a sample taken.

Hospital laboratories are usually organised into sections depending on the type of testing to be performed. For example, there are usually sections for microbiology (the study of bacteria and viruses), haematology (the study of blood cells), clinical biochemistry (the study of the chemical composition of the blood) and blood transfusion. Other laboratories carry out testing of tissue samples (histopathology and cytology).

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