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Specimen Volumes Have Decreased Over Time

Slide 4

January 2011

As laboratory instrumentation technology has advanced, the amount of sample needed for testing has decreased. For example, when I began my career in the laboratory, we drew 15 mLs of blood for a routine chemistry profile that consisted of 12 analytes. Now, we routinely collect 5 mLs to perform those12 tests, and when necessary, we can perform them using much less. So, we have made a lot of progress, thanks primarily due to miniaturization of the handling and analytic components of testing equipment. Technological advances make it possible to perform testing on smaller and smaller amounts of sample, amounts that can be accommodated by micro-collection containers. However, those advances are often off-set by the increased use of laboratory automation systems that allow hands-free specimen processing and testing because most automation systems work best with standard, nonmicrosized collection containers. Nevertheless, we continue to watch how much blood we require because it is in the best interest of the patient and because healthcare providers, patients and their families expect us to do so.

Specimen Volumes Have Decreased Over Time

 


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