One division that is common to every speciality is Laboratory Medicine. A medical lab is a space where clinical pathology tests are conducted in order to gain vital information about the patient’s health that help arrive at the right treatment plan, diagnosis, and prevention of disorders. Medical Laboratories, unlike academic laboratories that perform basic science, falls under the category of advanced applied sciences. Medical or clinical labs are built in various sizes and capabilities, and hence they offer a wide variety of services. There are specialised hospitals where almost 70% of the diagnoses depends on the reports generated by a lab. These are mostly in places that offer comprehensive healthcare services and/or acute-care clinics.
About Laboratory Medicine
A medical laboratory scientist specialises in the undertaking of tests at the lab. The Laboratory Medicine department in most hospitals and patient-care centres are parented by the branch of Pathology, and are usually classified into two categories, which are further compartmentalised basis their utility and special care areas:
- Anatomic pathology: the conditions diagnosed by this specialty includes cytopathology, electron microscopy, and histopathology.
- Clinical pathology consists of the following departments / sub-specialities:
- Clinical Microbiology: This is an amalgamated application of various branches of science namely bacteriology, mycology, virology, immunology, and parasitology.
- Clinical Chemistry: This division primarily consists of the automated analysis of blood specimens, and also sometimes tests for toxicology, enzymology, and endocrinology.
- Haematology: Often involving coagulation, this department majorly deals with the manual and automated analysis of the blood cells.
- Blood Bank: Blood banks are a major aid in case of emergency conditions, blood bank tests and they make blood available for transfusion and related scenarios.
- Molecular Diagnostics: Tests such as DNA examination are performed here; certain situations may even demand the need for a subspecialty called cytogenetics.
- Reproductive Biology: Semen analysis, assisted reproductive technology and Sperm banks.
The space design for medical testing labs vary from institution to institution. Also, a clinical laboratory consists of multiple departments within itself:
Microbiology: This field is dedicated to culturing clinical specimens, including urine, blood, faeces, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, possibly infected tissue, and sputum. This department is essentially occupied with cultures, to identify suspicious pathogens which have to then be examined through biochemical means.
Parasitology: Here, the patients are tested for parasites, usually by examining samples such as that of the faeces, and a thorough analysis of the stomach is done to identify parasites like hookworms, or tapeworms.
Virology is concerned with specimens such as cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood. Haematology focuses on whole blood specimens to conduct blood counts, examination of Blood Films, and other specialized tests in multiple bodily fluids.
Coagulation testing is the branch that comes into play in conditions involving blood clotting, platelet function, and coagulation factors.
Clinical Biochemistry is the division dedicated to testing serum, plasma along with quantitative testing for various substances like blood sugar, lipids, hormones, and enzymes.
Toxicology is concerned with the testing for recreational and pharmaceutical drugs. Specimens include urine and blood samples.
Immunology / Serology employs antigen-antibody interaction to diagnose the compatibility of transplanted organs.
Immuno-haematology or a blood bank technically examines blood groups and also prepares blood components, products for transfusion, and derivatives. This area determines a patient's blood type and Rh status, checks for antibodies to common antigens found in red blood cells, and cross matches units that are negative for the antigen.
Urinalysis: This divisions performs critical tests in urine samples. Clinical Biochemistry Labs come into play when a more precise report of urine chemicals in required.
Histopathology focuses on biopsies i.e. solid tissue extracted from the body for examining at a microscopic level.
Cytopathology: A division dedicated to studying the smears of cells from various parts of the body such as the cervix. This department majorly tests for proof of inflammation, cancer, and other conditions.
Molecular Diagnostics: Specialised tests for DNA examination.
Cytogenetics: This branch majorly concerns itself with the production of DNA karyotype which in turn aides conditions such as prenatal diagnosis, along with certain specific type of cancers which can be detected with the help of abnormal chromosomes.
Surgical Pathology: Examination of organs, tumours, limbs, biopsied tissues like breast mastectomies, and foetuses.
A medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on clinical specimens in order to obtain information about the health of a patient pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Laboratory Medicine and the Pathology department support physicians at Aster Hospitals by performing testing services for diagnostic and therapeutic evaluations. The department also provides consultation on diagnostic problems regarding the evaluation, interpretation or correlation of clinical laboratory data and test methodology. At Aster Hospitals, we believe that patients and their families should have access to high-quality healthcare at a centre that they trust.
Laboratory speciality areas at Aster Hospitals include:
Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology
Why choose Aster Hospitals?
In times when quality healthcare is the prime need of the hour, Aster Hospitals’ state-of-the-art healthcare infrastructure and expert panel of doctors, clinicians, and technicians, ensure that every patient is given undivided attention. With a treatment philosophy that’s driven on a fine blend of science and expertise, research and study, care and commitment, we are dedicated to making the world a happier, healthier place. Our Laboratory Medicine department comprises of some of the best clinicians and doctors in the country, all equipped with the knowledge of lab science. Aster Hospitals is constantly seeking newer opportunities to set bigger yardsticks with advanced progress. Present in over 9 countries, Aster Hospitals is probably one of the world's most rapidly growing healthcare chains. Offering a wide range of healthcare services, Aster Hospitals boasts a diverse team of highly-skilled healthcare professionals and medical infrastructure capable of end-to-end disease detection and cure. Headquartered in Dubai, Aster Hospitals now encompasses 17,600+ employees, 2296 doctors with several JCI accredited Hospitals, clinics and Diagnostic Centres. Each of the Group’s verticals is a symbol of distinction, driven by a commitment to build a healthier tomorrow and to take healthcare to the next level of excellence.