From the diary of a diagnostician……
Prof (Dr) Viyatprajna Acharya
Tch tch tch….urea and creatinine are not improving over past 5 days, rather worsening. Liver profile is also worsening…what is the age of the patient….ummm 85 years. May be last stage, multi-organ failure. My prayers….
Oops…Total bilirubin 15mg%! Baby? Ah yes! Baby of Mrs. So and so…5 days old. Physiological jaundice of the newborn. A flash of the mechanism of e-isomerization of bilirubin under UV light spreads in.
Normal health check up reports, health assessment before joining a job, from the same company….hmm all good…fit to join your job champ! Wait wait…why elevated total protein? Quality check….QC run, calibration check…how was the EQAS?
Awww….such high levels of LDH. Hmm, might be a case of cancer. Ah, yes! Other tumour markers also ordered and deranged.
These are few instances to show how we rummage through virtual patients. This is story from a Biochemist, handling all the biochemical parameters, hormones, coagulation profile, iron profile, tumour markers, toxicology division and shall welcome whatever the future has to offer us. Similar is the story of Pathologists and Medical Microbiologists.
The lab professionals are like a vascular system in the healthcare world analysing the invisible blood parameters, tissue changes or microbes that are not visible to naked eyes. During this pandemic of SARS-CoV 2 all might have understood the significance of lab professionals working in the background for a fruitful diagnosis and successful treatment.
Not just qualified doctors but the paramedics/ technicians play a vital role in sample collection and analysis. I would never forget to thank our attendants who carry the samples from wards and sample collection centers and the housekeeping for keeping the environment clean and proper waste disposal.
For blood glucose analysis at one point of time up to 40 ml of blood was being drawn which has been reduced to only 10 microliter today. There has been constant research and innovations by people from Medicine and Engineering and Biotechnology for which we have reduced the cost per test, improved the TAT (Turn-around-time) and made the tests available for most of the population.
Who knows what next? May be AI driven or absolute non-invasive techniques will be ushered in!
Looking forward to more cooperation from Clinician friends in providing us short history so as to improve reporting from our side and take Medical research a step forward. With increasing dependence on Laboratory Medicine for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, our challenges also grow further. Strict quality check, accreditations, inventory management, demand for newer markers, human resource management, newer techniques, though keep us all on our toes, still it excites us to be there as a pillar in patient handling and we gear up with new hope everyday to serve the mankind still better.