Haematology Laboratory

Department in Depth

The department currently carries out approximately 610,000 laboratory tests annually. The service includes the full range of essential investigations and an extensive range of specialised tests, for many of which the department receives referrals from other hospitals. A full out of hours emergency service is also provided (details provided in the department’s User Guide). The Haematology laboratory is organised into sections.

  • The main laboratory is concerned with essential routine tests including FBC and ESR tests, Blood Film examination and Malaria screening. It forms the core part of the department’s link with general practitioners, from whom over a third of its workload is derived.
  • The immunophenotyping laboratory analyses blood and bone marrow by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies to diagnose malignancy such as leukaemia and lymphoma. This technology is also used to monitor treatment and to detect the presence of minimal residual disease which gives an early warning of the possibility of relapse. The Haemoglobinopathies and Haemolytic Anaemia Laboratory investigates for the presence of haemoglobin variants and thalassaemia as well as other forms of haemolytic anaemias including red cell enzyme disorders. Bone marrow aspirates are also processed and cytochemical staining carried out in this laboratory.
  • The Haematinics & Transplant Drug Monitoring Laboratory carries out investigations for vitamin deficiencies causing megaloblastic anaemia (vitamin B12 and Folic acid), related causes (intrinsic factor antibody)  and iron deficiency. It also tests for related risk factors for thrombosis (homocysteine), erythropoietin and provides a vital monitoring service for immuno-suppressive drugs used in the hospital’s Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplant program for haematological malignancies.
  • The department has been accredited by Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd since 2003 and has been re-inspected in 2008. It is a recognised in-service training laboratory for students of the Biomedical Science degree course at Dublin Institute of Technology. It promotes further post-graduate education of its staff, is involved in ongoing research and development and in international scientific collaborations. It also provides laboratory support for many clinical drug trials being conducted at St James’s hospital.

Critical Phone Limits for Haematology (PDF 21Kb)

Thrombophilia Mutation Analysis Patient Information leaflet (PDF 155Kb)

Thrombophilia Mutation Analysis Consent Form (Word document 31Kb)

Thrombophilia Screen Request Form (Word document 80Kb)

Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) Screen Request Form (PDF 270Kb)