Clinical Biochemistry measures a wide range of substances in bodily fluids, predominantly blood (serum or plasma), urine and cerebrospinal fluid. A 24 hour, 7 day acute core clinical biochemistry service is provided on all Imperial College, Chelsea and Westminster and the Hillingdon Hospitals trust sites. Biochemistry tests are used to investigate or monitor:
- major organ function (liver, kidney, bones, heart, muscles)
The majority of these core clinical biochemistry tests are fully automated, although some are manual investigations. For information on our more specialist testing, please see Specialist Services. Clinical scientists or medical doctors are available as the Duty Biochemist on site during the working day to provide advice about the selection of appropriate tests and their interpretation.
Haematology performs full blood counts and secondary testing to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of various disorders. The Haematology laboratories also offer additional tests to identify specific conditions, eg. malaria screening, infectious mononucleosis, and reviewing blood film morphology. The laboratories have access to specialist haematologists to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of complex haematological disorders.
Special Haematology offers screening tests to identify disorders of haemoglobin production, eg. sickle-cell disease and thalassemia. The laboratory participates in the NHS ante-natal screening programme and can arrange for testing for unexplained haemolysis and red cell enzyme studies, eg. G6PD, pyruvate kinase and other rare red cell studies.
Coagulation performs clotting screens for pre-operative and routine cases. Coagulation can provide tests for prognostic markers of deep vein thrombosis and the controlling of anticoagulant therapy. The Special Coagulation laboratories offer investigations of abnormal bleeding and clotting disorders, using the latest analysers and techniques.
The Blood Transfusion department performs routine and urgent serological, pre-transfusion testing (eg of blood group and antibody status) for the issuing of blood components and blood products specific to the needs of an individual. The department offers a complete antibody investigation service and can arrange for secondary testing by the NHS Blood Transfusion laboratories for more complex investigations. The transfusion laboratory is also responsible for controlling the issue of anti-D, recombinant coagulations factors and Octaplex. Hospital staff training in blood transfusion is co-ordinated and supervised by experienced transfusion practitioners.