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Laboratory Medicine (Pathology)

You may be asked to come to the Outpatients department so your child can give a blood sample. The department can be accessed from the atrium and is clearly signposted.

The department opens at 8.30am with a final check-in time of 4.15pm, Monday to Friday. Please report to the reception desk on arrival.

Blood samples are taken a trained phlebotomist by thumb/finger prick or from a vein in the arm. The blood is collected into one or more tubes, depending on how many tests the doctor has requested.

What happens to my child’s blood sample?

Once the samples have been sent to the laboratory, and tests have been completed, the results are checked by a trained scientist or doctor. Comments may also be added to the results to explain their meaning. The results will then be reported to the doctor who asked for the sample to be taken.

How long do the tests take?

This varies according to which tests have to be performed. Some tests are completed on the same day the sample is received or by the following day. More complicated tests may take up to a few weeks, especially if the sample has to be sent to a specialist laboratory in another part of the country, which adds to the time required.

How your child’s test results will be sent to you

The results of the tests will be sent to the doctor who requested the tests. This is usually the consultant (or GP) in charge of your child’s care. Your doctor will usually inform you of the results by letter, occasionally by telephone or at your child’s next clinic appointment. Should you telephone the doctor for the results, please be aware that your child’s results can only be given to you by a doctor involved in your child’s care.

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