Chemical pathology service is one of the most important services in pathology department. Biochemical test offered by this laboratory varies widely ranging from simple to complex test. As the demands for biochemical test are heavy, users of chemical pathology service are advised to be selective when requesting service. Requests should be confined to those tests which are useful for the diagnosis or control of treatment of patients. Basically, chemical pathology has two sections which are biochemical and drugs section. They are two types of request forms which are the request form for general use and special form for urine drug of abuse.
The work and test that been conducted are arterial blood gas (ABG) test, alanine amino-transferase, albumin, amylase, APTT, aspartate amino-transferase, beta-HCG, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, calcium, cholesterol HDL and LDL, creatine kinases, creatinine, and many more. Most of the tests are done using machines. Examples of the machines are RXL machines and Hitachi 911 machines. Test such as renal profile, glucose level, creatine kinase and other test that is known as routine panel test use RXL machines as well as also the Hitachi 911 machines.
The division of chemical pathology also provides a ‘STAT’ service for cases where there is life threatening situation for patients. When a test is requested STAT, the test will be carried out immediately. The following procedure should be followed in requesting STAT service such as the request form must be signed by medical officer and must be written ‘STAT’ in red at the top of the request form, the specimen must be brought to the chemical pathology unit personally by a ward staff and the ward staff must wait at the laboratory until the result is ready so as to bring back the report to the ward.
The ‘STAT’ test offered are amylase, bilirubin total (neonate), arterial blood gas (ABG), blood urea and serum electrolyte (BUSE), calcium, CSF biochemistry, fibrinogen, glucose, paraquat, prothrombin time/ activated prothrombin time (PT/APTT), salicylate, aspartate amino transferase (AST/SGOT) and creatine kinase (CK). I observed and went to each of the sections each day, the tasks that were assigned and learnt were urine drug section, arterial blood gases, operated hitechi 911 machines and RXL machines and also other machines.