The process took more than 16 weeks, but part of Mount Sinai’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – where our patients’ blood, amniotic fluids and other samples are sent for testing – has finally relocated to its brand new lab on the 11th floor.
Maintaining operations throughout the move was top priority. Approximately 200 Medical Laboratory Technologists continued delivering nearly 10,000 tests per day while at the same time over 100 complex pieces of equipment were taken apart, re-assembled, re-calibrated and validated before becoming operational again.
To celebrate this exciting milestone, we took a behind-the-scenes look at the space, and are showcasing our laboratory technologists’ significant contributions to patient care.
After patients’ samples are collected, they are sent to the lab for testing. Nearly 3 million tests are completed every year.
Time is of the essence – a system for specimen transport propels samples to the lab from around the hospital and off-site locations to facilitate faster turnaround times for tests.
Using both manual and automated techniques, lab staff produce test results that help clinicians diagnose disease, monitor treatment and predict prognosis.
With nearly 10,000 tests completed every day, barcode technology ensures the right tests are done on the right samples.
Maternal Serum Screening tests are done by our lab staff to screen for fetal genetic disorders like Down's syndrome.
Blood samples are tested for cell number and size/shape, and clotting to assist in diagnosis.
Bone marrow, blood, and body fluid samples are examined for cancers like leukemia and lymphomas.
The lab also receives daily deliveries of donor blood from Canadian Blood Services and carefully tests all products before they are released to patients.
When a patient requires a blood transfusion, a sample of the patient’s blood is drawn and sent to the lab for testing to find the best possible donor blood match.
The molecular genetics section of the lab focuses on sequencing and analysis of our patients’ DNA to provide “personalized” medicine.
There are many steps involved in preparing samples for further analysis.
Lab staff grow cells to allow for extraction of DNA from the cells of interest.
A technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction is done to amplify DNA from a small sample so there is sufficient amount for analysis.
DNA sequencing helps predict the risk of developing breast, ovarian, or colon cancer or to direct specific cancer treatments. This allows for “personalized” treatment for our patients.
Analysis of patients’ DNA informs diagnoses in individuals with infertility, for fetal health and development, pregnancy losses, and cancer.
The areas of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine that relocated and are described above include Diagnostic Medical Genetics and the Core Lab (which includes Chemistry, Hematology, Transfusion Medicine and Specimen Management). Other areas of the department remain on the 6th floor, and will be redeveloped at a later date.