The Beacon Hospital Laboratory Service
Here at the new Beacon Hospital Laboratory we are in the fortunate position of being able to offer all our patients, in-patients and out-patients alike, a truly “State of the Art” facility. Our brand new laboratory contains the most up to date, automated and quality equipment available in the country. In addition to this, we have a sincerely dedicated, highly qualified, professional team of scientists and pathologists, whose aim is to ensure that you get the most accurate, precise and reliable test results in as short a time as possible.
We operate a full clinical and diagnostic service which aids Consultants and GPs in the diagnosis and management of disease, including monitoring of specific treatments and drugs. The laboratory provides a phlebotomy service for both in-patients and out-patients. Phlebotomy simply means taking blood from a patient. Our phlebotomists are highly trained professionals who take patients blood samples quickly, safely and efficiently ensuring minimum disruption to the patient. While an in-patient, our phlebotomists come to your bedside to take the blood samples. If you are an out-patient the sample will be taken in our dedicated Out Patient Phlebotomy area. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm. No appointment necessary. If your doctor has already taken your blood sample you may drop the sample directly into the laboratory.
The Laboratory is divided into six main specialist areas, each covering a different aspect of test analysis. What follows is a brief explanation of some the services and tests provided by our laboratory.
This laboratory tests for specific chemical analytes in the blood. While the Biochemistry laboratory tests for a wide range of analytes, the most common tests requested are Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar), Cholesterol, Liver Function Tests and Cardiac Enzymes. These tests aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as Diabetes, Arteriosclerosis and Liver and Heart dysfunction. Testing for therapeutic drug monitoring is also performed, which enables patients to be kept on the optimum level of the drug they require for their particular treatment.
This laboratory tests for the presence of viral markers, tumour markers, auto”–immune disorders and allergies. These tests aid in the diagnosis of specific disease states such as Hepatitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Auto-Immune Disease and early diagnosis of certain types of cancer. The allergy testing will help identify the main trigger for a person”’s allergy. This is particularly relevant for Dermatology and Asthma patients.
This department estimates the number and quality of the cells that comprise your blood system. The most common tests performed are Full Blood Counts and specific Cell Differentiation estimation. This test is an indication of your general state of health. It allows the diagnosis of specific Anaemia, Leukaemia and many other blood disorders. Here in the Haematology laboratory, we also test for the clotting ability of your blood, this is especially relevant for Deep Vein Thrombosis and patients on Warfarin therapy.
This department identifies the organisms (bacteria/viruses/fungi or parasites) in your body that are causing infection. When the organism is identified we then go on to determine the best antibiotic to destroy the causative organism, which in practical terms means you should better faster. This is particularly critical in relation to suspected cases of Meningitis, and these are always treated as emergencies are processed immediately. The usual infections dealt with are Urinary Tract (UTI), Respiratory infections and Gastro-intestinal infections. Pregnancy tests are also performed in this department.
In this department we test patients’ blood types and investigate their blood for the presence of any rare blood group antibodies. Patients undergoing surgical procedures will always have their blood group tested and investigated in case they may require a blood transfusion during or after surgery. Patients that have Haematology disorders who require support transfusions are also tested regularly. In this way we can ensure that we will always have the exact blood type match for all our patients. Our priority is to ensure that our patients receive the safest possible transfusion of Blood and Blood Products. This department also deals with HLA testing which is generally performed for patients requiring organ transplants.
This area provides diagnosis of clinical lesions and tumours. It provides essential information on the diagnosis and progression of malignancy, which allows for early detection and prognosis, and provides invaluable information on the best type of treatment therapy.
Result Turnaround Times
As our hospital is fully computerised throughout, your blood test results are transmitted in real time to all areas of the hospital. Most routine Haematology and Chemistry and Blood Transfusion results should be available within 2 hours. Immunology results are generally available in 2-3 days. Microbiology results typically take 24 “– 48 hours, simply because it takes this long to grow the organisms. Histopathology results take a bit longer, due to the time it takes to process and prepare the tissue, but results are generally available in 3-4 days. Occasionally because further specialised testing is required, results may take longer than this but an interim report will be issued in these cases.
Currently all out-patients results will be posted out daily. We plan to role out a real time web based Result Systems to all GPs so that they will be able to retrieve and access patient results a soon as they are completed in the laboratory.
For all Laboratory queries Tel: 01-293-6693