Clinical diagnostics laboratories utilize a wide variety of instrumentation to measure critical care analytes. These instruments range from manual point-of-care bench apparatus to high-volume, fully automated free-standing systems. Testing is performed using all types of body fluids, including serum, whole blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and others. The results of these tests provide clinicians with critical information for diagnosis, prognosis, and constant monitoring of patients’ medical status. Clinical laboratories are generally divided into basic units, such as Chemistry, Hematology, Coagulation, Immunochemistry, and Microbiology. These units perform tests that are grouped according to the type of analyte and/or to the methodology of measurement.
Clinical Hematology laboratories are primarily focused on measuring whole blood components such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, as well as the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood. Hematology includes the study of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of blood diseases. Hematology instrumentation is capable of accurately counting each of the various blood cells as well as differentiating among types and characteristics of each component.