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In this edition: LifeLabs ON Holiday Hours 2018 New Hematology Instruments and Parameters Potassium: Challenges with High Results The Importance of Providing Collection Date and Time on OHIP requisition RMA FST™ IgG Food Sensitivity Tes...
In this edition: LifeLabs Medical Director Update Trichomonas Vaginalis Testing Causes of Discrepant Hemoglobin Results Urine Drug Screen Panel and the Urine Broad Spectrum Toxicology (BST) Screen Frequently Asked Questions Transferrin ...
LifeLabs would appreciate your help in ensuring best patient care when critical values become available after office hours on the tests that you order on your patients. If we do not currently have this information, please contact Pam Bissoo at the Li...
Staff Changes in Anatomic Pathology Dr. Terry Colgan and Dr. Mona Kamel have joined the Medical-Scientific staff at LifeLabs. Dr. Colgan will be the Discipline Head for the Histology laboratory, while Dr. Kamel will assume the same role in Cytology....
Healthcare Practitioners’ Survey Every year, LifeLabs asks you how we can provide you with a better experience. The input you provide—along with feedback from hundreds of your peers—has helped us make improvements and investments that matter t...
Detection of Parasites in Stool Samples by PCR Diarrheal diseases are extremely common in the developed and developing worlds and are major causes of morbidity and mortality, affecting millions of individuals each year. The aetiologies of diarrhea i...
LifeLabs Provides Community Antibiograms For All LHINS In Ontario LifeLabs Medical Laboratories is providing antibiograms for all Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) in Ontario. The antibiograms contain information about cumulative susceptib...
New Chemistry And Immunochemistry Analyzers – An Update As part of the continued integration of the LifeLabs and CML laboratories and standardization of lab methods and reporting, LifeLabs has introduced new instrumentation for routine Chemistry a...
New Chemistry & Immunochemistry Analyzers LifeLabs is introducing new instrumentation for routine Chemistry and Imm nochemistry testing. This is part of the continued integration of the LifeLabs and CML laboratories and will result in the standa...
Integrating LifeLabs And Former CML Patient Service Centres Since October 2013, LifeLabs has been working to bring LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services and CML HealthCare together. One key step in this integration has been to convert former CML col...
Inside Diagnostics Sheila Boss, PhD, FCACB Discipline Head, Biochemistry and IRL Laboratory Director, LifeLabs ON The need for fasting presents a significant inconvenience to patients, is a challenge for some (particularly seniors, children and dia...
LifeLabs New Combined Cytology and HPV Requisition The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is widely used as an indicator of inflammation. The traditional Westergren method measures the rate at which red cells sediment in plasma over one hour, and ...
FECAL CALPROTECTIN – A NEW TEST FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION Kent Dooley, PhD Clinical Chemist, LifeLabs BC Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are conditions that present with chronic abdominal pa...
What is changing and which tests will be affected? As part of ongoing technology replacement planning, LifeLabs will be transferring analyses of a number of hormone and tumor marker tests from the Siemens Immulite chemiluminescence immunoassay analy...
Thyroglobulin and anTi-Thyroglobulin: role in Thyroid disease TesTing Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a glycoprotein synthesized by the thyrocytes and plays a key role in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. Its production is stimulated by TSH, intra...
LifeLabs Moves Test Directory Online Collection and reporting information at your fingertips The online Test Information Directory features an easy-to-use search functionality, where you can enter in a test name or the first few letters of a test...
Causes of DIsCrepant HemoglobIn results At LifeLabs, we occasionally receive calls regarding discrepant hemoglobin results. The motivation for the call is often that our reported hemoglobin value is lower than that of another laboratory. Frequently ...
GROWTH HORMONE METHOD UPDATE AND REFERENCE RANGE CHANGE The growth hormone (GH) method used by LifeLabs has been re-standardized by the vendor to align with the preferred calibration process for this analyte using a recombinant 2nd international sta...
OHIP LABORATORY REQUISITION CHANGES: VITAmIN D TESTING Effective December 1, 2010 OHIP will change testing for 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D to an insured service for those meeting the eligibility criteria included on the OHIP requisition (osteopenia and ost...
THE SKIN BIOPSY: WHEN AND HOW TO DO IT This is the first of a two-part series on the skin biopsy and discusses clinical indications for analysis. Part 2, in the next issue of Inside Diagnostics, will describe correct collection process for skin biop...
THE ASA EFFECT TEST: LIfeLabs now offers a urine Test to Determine if a patient is receiving the beneficial effects of ASA Up to a quarter of individuals who take acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) may not benefit from its anti-clotting effect. In aspirintr...
HOLIDAY LABORATORY CLOSURES Taking the time to provide advice to patients who require regular elective testing in anticipation of the holidays in December will facilitate management and possibly patient safety. It is inevitable that some patients wi...
SCREENING PROGRAM REACHES ONE-YEAR MARK The ColonCancerCheck (CCC) program is one-year-old! This is a free colon cancer detection program for Ontarians over 50 years sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Cancer Care Ontario that...
REVISED COMMUNITY LABORATORY GUIDELINE FOR REPORTING LABORATORY TEST RESULTS 2009 LifeLabs, together with other members of The Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories (OAML), adopted a common protocol for the communication of Expedited and ‘Cr...
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea (CDAD) Clostridium difficile associated disease has increased in frequency and severity throughout North America and Europe over the last 5 years. Strains of C.difficile producing toxins A and/or B are assoc...
REQUISITIONS REQUIRED As you know primary screening of normal risk individuals using Fecal Occult Blood Testing (FOBT) commenced in April 2008. Most cards are mailed back to testing laboratories by participants, which represents a new model for Ont...
THE ONTARIO LABORATORY INFORMATION SYSTEM (OLIS) On February 25, 2008 we will begin to copy test results to the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS). We are proud that we have been selected as one of the initial community laboratories to par...
NEONATAL BILIRUBIN The updated Ontario MOHLTC Laboratory Requisition (OHIP) includes a new section specifically designed to capture information required to properly interpret and act upon bilirubin measurements in the newborn. Babies may be placed a...
Topics in this edition: LifeLabs 2017/2018 Community Report Changes to Trichomonas vaginalis testing Healthcare Providers Conference Clinical Pearls: Helpful tips for lab test ordering and interpretation Read Full Newsletter
New Urine Drug Screen Instrument Starting in late March 2018, all drug screen tests at our Burnaby lab will move from the current Roche Integra 800 instrument to a new Siemens platform. Lab reports will indicate tests where the methodology has chang...
December 2, 2017

December Newsletter

Swabs for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea The Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections have recently included self-collected vaginal swabs as an option for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. A summary of swabs used for testing at Lifelabs is pro...
LifeLabs Healthcare Providers’ Conference LifeLabs invites physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners to an intensive one day conference to better interface clinical practice with Lab Medicine. Through case-based examples and literature...
LifeLabs Healthcare Providers’ Conference LifeLabs invites physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners to an intensive one day conference to better interface clinical practice with Lab Medicine. Through case-based examples and literature...
Hematology Testing & Critical Results LifeLabs recently reached an important integration milestone in that all former BC Biomedical Patient Service Centres (PSCs) have now been converted to LifeLabs Medical Laboratories’ systems. Chemistry and...
Patient Service Centre Conversion Following many months of integration activities, we are now in the final phase of converting all BC Biomedical Patient Service Centres (PSCs) to LifeLabs systems and practices. This includes using one Lab Informatio...
Face masks One crucial way LifeLabs protects the health and well-being of its employees working at Patient Service Centres is to have infectious patients wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when visiting a LifeLabs location. It is e...
High Sensitivity Troponin T On May 16th 2016, Mainland LifeLabs will be implementing high sensitivity Troponin T testing (hsTnT) and discontinuing the previous Troponin I test (cTnI). This will align our testing with hospitals such as St Paul’s. ...
Health Care Providers’ Newsletter ( Vancouver Island Edition December 2015 ) On January 4th 2016, LifeLabs in Victoria will be implementing high sensitivity Troponin T testing (hsTNT) and discontinuing the previous Troponin I test (cTnI). While th...
Improved Trichomonas Test Trichomonas testing from patients with vaginitis will be changing for clients served by the former BC Biomedical lab in Surrey. The new method (‘Trich OSOM’) has been used for several years at both the Victoria and Burn...
Have you ever been called by LifeLabs with a patient’s critical potassium that is normal following a repeat at a hospital? This phenomenon, pseudohyperkalemia, is defined as a spuriously high potassium result in the absence of visible sample hemol...
Physicians’ Newsletter Communication of Critical Lab Test Results A recent communique from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (March/April 2015, Vol. 3, #2) reminded its members that “the provision of after-hours coverage is a profess...
March 13, 2015

D-Dimer

D-Dimer D-Dimer (DD) is the final degradation product of fibrin by plasmin. Its presence indicates that thrombosis has occurred i.e. activation of clotting, fibrin formation, fibrin stabilization by factor-XIIIa and finally fibrin degradation by pla...
November 3, 2014

Non-fasting Lipids

Chemistry Specimen Retention There are arguments in the literature both for and against the use of fasting samples for lipid levels. Some groups suggest non-fasting specimens may actually be better at predicting cardiac risk and making therapeutic d...
New Outpatient Laboratory Requisition A new outpatient lab requisition form will be distributed to physicians starting in June 2014. Below are the new requisitions for LifeLabs and BC Biomedical with the highlights of the changes indicated. Le...
Sample Stability and Reporting Sample stability studies have shown that FIT samples are stable up to 14 days after collection if they are refrigerated, and will consistently produce valid results during that time frame. In future, FIT samples will b...
Physicians’ Lab Update / Newsletter LifeLabs is pleased to announce reporting of immature granulocyte (IG) count as part of the automated 6-part white blood cell differential. The IG count adds additional value to our previous 5-part differential ...
What is a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT)? Non-invasive prenatal testing is a new, highly accurate screen for specific chromosome abnormalities like trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome), and monoso...
Physicians’ Lab Update / Newsletter In compliance with the World Health Organization’s 5th Edition procedure for Semen Analysis, LifeLabs will be changing the terminology used when reporting the number of sperms present. Sperm Count will be repl...
Vitamins and changes Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. Moreover, there is an increasing body...
New Molecular Testing Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) methods directly applicable to stool specimens have recently become available, and these tests offer improved accuracy and turn-around-time compared to older methods. The new NAAT to be...
To Scope or Not to Scope Aside from negatively impacting the quality of life, IBS is relatively benign. It does not lead to any permanent structural damage to the intestines. Dietary and lifestyle changes can usually alleviate the symptoms of this d...
Update and Introduction of Free Retests for Borderline Results Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended every 1-2 years for individuals 50-75 years old with no known risk factors. LifeLabs offers the FIT screen, requiring only a single patient...
February 17, 2012

NEW CBC Parameters

Physicians’ Lab Update Our Hematology Department is pleased to announce the availability of two new Complete Blood Count indices: 1)Immature Platelet Fraction (IPF)   IPF may also be referred to in the literature as reticulated platelets. ...
Post-Vasectomy Reporting We have reviewed our procedure and reporting for post-vasectomy samples. After consulting the experts in the field and reviewing the literature we concluded the following: It is recommended that 100,000 or fewer non-moti...
November 3, 2011

NEW Stool Collection Vials

Dexamethasone Suppression Test CHANGES As of December 12, 2011, LifeLabs will no longer dispense Dexamethasone tablets for the Dexamethasone Suppression Test. The ordering physician will now have to write a prescription for Dexamethasone which has t...
The 2011 Antibiogram Editions for the Mainland and Vancouver Island are now available Antibiograms have been distributed to physicians’ offices and clinics; however, if you have not yet received a copy, please contact us toll-free at 1-800-431-720...
The New Name is: PHYSICIANS’ LAB UPDATE  At LifeLabs, we as pathologists see it as a very important component of our service to keep you, our colleagues, informed about the latest news on the lab front. The Physicians’ Newsletter has enabled u...
Mainland Physicians’ Newsletter As a result of the new Lab Funding Agreement, several significant changes were made to the Medical Services Plan (MSP) fee schedule. The changes have been in effect since October 1, 2010 and are summarized in the ta...
MSP Fee Schedule Changes due to New Lab Funding Agreement As a result of the new Lab Funding Agreement, several significant changes were made to the Medical Services Plan (MSP) fee schedule. The changes have been in effect since October 1, 2010 and ...
Improving Urine Culture Results Two steps are critical to reduce this normal flora problem. Step 1: Proper urine specimen collection & Step 2: Proper urine specimen transport to the laboratory. The clean catch, mid-stream collection procedure is...
Improving Urine Culture Results Urine cultures are the most frequently ordered microbiology tests, reflecting the fact that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common. Urine cultures are essential for accurate identification of UTI pathogens be...
LifeLabs Earns ISO 15189 Quality Accreditation Quality of service and quality of care are important to all of us at LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services. It is through our quality processes that physicians and patients can have confidence in our con...
LifeLabs Earns ISO 15189 Quality Accreditation Quality of service and quality of care are important to all of us at LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services. It is through our quality processes that physicians and patients can have confidence in our con...
Dr. Q’s Questions for March 1. Why are TSH results of samples taken a few weeks apart seemingly discrepant?  TSH exhibits not only pulsatile secretion with an amplitude of about 1 mU/L, but a modest circadian pattern with a nadir in the mid-afte...
Dr. Q’s Questions for March 1. Why are TSH results of samples taken a few weeks apart seemingly discrepant?  TSH exhibits not only pulsatile secretion with an amplitude of about 1 mU/L, but a modest circadian pattern with a nadir in the mid-afte...
NEW Trichomonas test Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in North America, and is associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission in women. TV causes vaginitis in women...
NEW Trichomonas test Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in North America, and is associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission in women. TV causes vaginitis in women...
Performance of the APTIMA assay The accuracy of the Gen-Probe APTIMA system in published studies is in the range of 98–100%, but we performed our own validation of the APTIMA system to insure good performance for testing of BC patients. Cooperatin...
Performance of the APTIMA assay The accuracy of the Gen-Probe APTIMA system in published studies is in the range of 98–100%, but we performed our own validation of the APTIMA system to insure good performance for testing of BC patients. Cooperatin...
Ordering Lab tests not listed on the requisition form If you want to order a lab test that is not listed on the requisition form e.g. Malaria screen, please ensure that you write the specific test on the requisition form under Additional Tests / Ins...
Ordering Lab tests not listed on the requisition form If you want to order a lab test that is not listed on the requisition form e.g. Malaria screen, please ensure that you write the specific test on the requisition form under Additional Tests / Ins...