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Laboratory Services Overview at St. Luke’s

Chemistry and Immunology

St. Luke's Chemistry and Immunology department produces fast, accurate laboratory testing to meet the needs of acute care. We provide high quality laboratory reporting and are a resource for proper specimen collection, processing, and interpretation. The chemistry lab has state-of-the-art, sophisticated automation that performs a wide array of testing for cardiac, endocrine, renal, liver, and lipid function.

Hematology

St. Luke’s Hematology provides a full range of testing in hematology, coagulation, and flow cytometry.

Hematology is the study of blood and its related disorders such as anemia, sickle cell disease, and leukemia. Normal blood consists of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets. In the Hematology department, the morphology of the RBCs, number of platelets, and type of WBCs (neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes) are evaluated in a complete blood count (CBC).

Hemostasis (coagulation) is the combination of cellular and biochemical events that function in harmony to keep blood from clotting or hemorrhaging. When the hemostasis systems are out of balance, thrombosis and bleeding can occur and may become life-threatening if undiagnosed and untreated. Our hematology team investigates all of the major hemostasis systems to help predict, prevent, and diagnose hemostatic disease.

Microbiology

Our microbiology testing menu includes bacteriology, mycology, virology, parasitology, mycobacteriology, and DNA probe diagnostic technologies. In conjunction with infectious disease clinicians and the infection prevention and epidemiology team, actions are taken to identify and control nosocomial (healthcare-acquired) microorganisms and quickly track organisms resistant to antimicrobial agents and to coordinate those agents tested in the laboratory with those selected by St. Luke's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and guidelines of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).

Transfusion

The main goal of our Transfusion Services team is to provide quality blood products to patients by following safe transfusion practices. The majority of blood and blood products are supplied by our local American Red Cross. St. Luke’s transfuses more than 13,000 products annually, and provides specialized testing/products for neonates (NICU) and newborns, cancer patients, bone marrow transplant patients, specialized surgery cases such as cardiovascular and orthopedic, an active maternity center, and maternal fetal services. We use semi-automated and automated testing processes, a fully computerized lab system, and Lean Six Sigma practices to develop policies and procedures. We also act as a training institution for medical technologists in partnership with Idaho State University.

Cell Therapy

Our cell therapy team performs autologous and allogeneic stem cell collections, processing, and freezing for stem cell storage, and thawing of stored cells for reinfusion.

Histology

Our histology team examines tissue from a surgery, biopsy, or autopsy. Histology prepares and stains slides for pathologist review. It is an essential tool of anatomic pathology, as diagnosis of tumors and other disease processes require histological evaluation.

Cytology

Our cytology team examines cells by preparing them based on the site of origin, quality of specimen, and the suspected diagnosis. The laboratory then screens the slides to aid in diagnosis.