Laboratories play a critical role in modern medicine. Despite their importance, the average patient rarely sees what goes on inside of a laboratory setting.
In order to truly understand the integral role that labs play in helping to diagnose and treat illness, patients need to know what happens in a clinical laboratory. Learn more about the essential processes that take place in clinical laboratories every day.
1. Blood is Analyzed
A patient's blood can tell a doctor a lot about the person's health. In order to access the vital data contained within a blood sample, these samples are sent to a facility for clinical laboratory services.
A clinical lab contains specialized equipment that can separate the various components in a blood sample and generate reports that outline the levels of these components found within the sample.
A doctor can use this information to help create a treatment plan that will bring a patient's overall health back into balance.
2. Biopsy Material is Reviewed
Anytime a doctor takes a tissue sample from a tumor or lump, the sample is referred to as a biopsy. Most medical doctors are unable to definitively determine if a tumor or lump poses a serious threat to a patient's health.
Many tumors and lumps are benign, but others could be cancerous. Failure to identify and treat a cancerous tumor or lump could allow cancer to spread throughout the body.
A clinical lab technician can use a microscope to examine the biopsy material on a cellular level. Cancerous cells can be spotted within the tissue, allowing the lab to provide doctors with valuable direction when it comes to treating their patients.
3. Urine Samples are Analyzed
Urine is another bodily fluid that can provide valuable information about a person's health. Substances that are found in a person's urine can reveal if they are suffering from serious medical conditions.
Some of the tests conducted on urine samples can identify the presence of bone loss, hormone imbalances, and toxic compounds within the body.
A doctor would have to perform multiple exploratory procedures to gather the information that a clinical lab can gather in a few hours with a small urine sample.
Clinical labs are the cornerstone of the medical community. Each blood, tissue, or urine sample that is sent to a clinical lab can provide vital information that doctors will use to treat illness and potentially save a patient's life.