Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The Haematology Laboratory provides routine, emergency and specialist investigations for St James’s Hospital, referring hospitals and General Practitioners (GPs). The department’s work involves the laboratory diagnosis, monitoring and therapy of haematological conditions such as leukaemia, anaemia and haemophilia.

It supports the National Adult Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Centre and the National Coagulation Centre (NCC) at St James’s Hospital and provides a comprehensive blood testing service to the hospital, GPs and hospitals nationwide. It is the largest such department in the Republic of Ireland and includes the Haematology Laboratory, Cryobiology Stem Cell Facility and Coagulation Laboratory.

General Enquiries : Cell Counting and Morphology Laboratory 01 410 3843
General Enquiries : Haematinics and Transplant Drug Monitoring Laboratory 01 416 2012
General Enquiries : Immunophenotyping Laboratory  01 416 2048
General Enquiries : Haemoglobinopathy and Haemolytics Laboratory  01 416 2394
Out of Hours Haematology/Blood Transfusion Scientist On Call. There is an on call service for urgent work outside of normal hours and on weekends and bank holidays. Bleep 671 via Switchboard.

  • The Haematology Laboratory 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.

    The laboratory is a recognised in-service training laboratory for students of the Biomedical Science Degree Course at the Technological University Dublin (TUD). It promotes further postgraduate education for its staff, is involved in ongoing research and development activities and international scientific collaborations. It also provides laboratory support for many clinical drug trials being conducted in the hospital.

    The Haematology Laboratory is organised as follows:

    • The main laboratory carries out essential routine tests including full blood count (FBC) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) tests, blood film examination and malaria screening
    • 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 and 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 Programme for haematological malignancies.
  • Dr Larry Bacon: Consultant Haematologist, (01) 416 2166, lbacon@stjames 
    Richard McCafferty: Chief Medical Scientist, Haematology, (01) 416 2067, 
    Ms Mary Byrne: Chief Medical Scientist , National Coagulation Laboratory, (01) 428 4346, 
    Haematology Laboratory Registrar: (01) 416 2032
    Mr David O'Brien, Specialist Medical Scientist, Imphenotyping & Haemoglobinopathy Laboratories: (01) 416 2909/(01) 416 2394,


  • General Information
    The primary source of information for users is the LabMed User Guide. The guide includes a database of laboratory investigations, specimen requirements, turnaround times and biological reference intervals.

    We operate the HealthLink electronic system for GPs which facilitates electronic ordering of tests. Results are also transmitted electronically to the Practice Management System. Any new GP practice must contact the Laboratory’s quality manager to sign up and register.

    Samples from GPs and external hospitals should be received in the laboratory before 3pm, from Monday to Friday.

    Clinical advice and interpretation
    Clinical advice for service users is available from the Haematology Laboratory Specialist Registrar from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

    Contact the main switchboard on (01) 410 3000 and ask for the haematology registrar on-call. If the haematology registrar is not available, ask for the haematology consultant on-call.

    Test results
    Unfortunately, the laboratory cannot give results directly to patients. Patients should contact their referring doctor with all queries regarding laboratory tests.

    Biotin interference in Folate and Cyclsosporine

    Haematology Critical Phone Limits


  • A service level agreement (SLA) must be in place between external agencies and St James's Hospital before referring samples for testing in the Haematology Laboratory. The laboratory manager should be contacted regarding this. For information about the test repertoire offered, sample types required, reference ranges and test turnaround times, please see the LabMed User Guide.

  • The laboratory is accredited by INAB to ISO Standard, 15189:2012, medical laboratories requirements for quality and competence.


    • EDTA samples for FBC are retained for 5 days. Full blood counts may only be processed on samples <48 hours old. However additional tests such as Retic, ESR or Malaria are affected by EDTA changes and must be performed on samples < 24 hours old. Blood films can only be performed on samples < 18 hours old.  Screening Tests for Infectious Mononucleosis can be performed on samples <48 hours old
    • For Haemoglobinopathy Screens additional tests may be added within 7 Days  of sample collection
    • For Immunophenotyping additional tests may be added within 5 Days  of sample collection
    • For Haematinic assays( B12/ Folate/ Ferritin) additional tests may only be added on samples collected same day
    • For all other tests or any additional information contact the relevant laboratory section


  • Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm:

    • Contact Haematology Laboratory Specialist Registrar at (01 )416 2032
    • Or St James Hospital main switchboard Ext 9 or Direct line (01) 410 3000
    • Ask for Haematology Registrar

    Monday - Friday after 5pm and Weekends and Bank Holidays

    • St James's Hospital main switchboard Ext 9 or Direct line (01) 410 3000
    • Ask for Haematology Registrar On Call 
    • If Haematology Registrar not available ask for Haematology Consultant On Call
Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm

How to find us

Ground floor, Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Pathology building

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