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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 218-221

Turnaround time for electrolytes, urea, and creatinine in a clinical laboratory

Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ekiye Ayinbuomwan
Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_36_17

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Background: Timeliness is expressed as the turnaround time and is often used by the clinician as a benchmark for laboratory performance. Clinicians depend on fast turnaround time to achieve early diagnosis and treatment of their patients and early patient discharge from emergency departments or hospital in-patient services. Determination of the turnaround time would enable a critical self- appraisal of our laboratory services and improve our turnaround time. Objective: This study assessed the turnaround time for electrolytes, urea and creatinine tests from the emergency departments of the hospital. Materials and Methods: An observational study was conducted between September and October 2016 amongst patients from the Intensive Care Unit, Accident and Emergency Department and Children Emergency Room, whose blood specimens were received at the Chemical Pathology Department for emergency electrolytes, urea and creatinine tests. A total of 122 specimens were randomly selected and the average time taken to complete each phase was measured and the overall turnaround time calculated. Data was analysed using statistics software SPSS (version 13.5). Results: Audited cases consisted of 20 (16.4%) specimens from the Intensive Care Unit, 40 (32.8%) from the Children Emergency Room and 62 (50.8%) from the Accident and Emergency Department. The average turnaround time for the Accident and Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, and Children Emergency room were 6.5hours, 4.2hours and 5.2hours respectively. Conclusion: This study revealed that the turnaround time for electrolytes, urea and creatinine for patients in the emergency units is quite long and requires some improvement which could be done with the use of Laboratory Information System to track specimens from the various emergency units of the hospital.

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