Learn More The Leading-Edge Laboratory At Southeastern: Chat with Us | Email Us
Patients may not see the bustling activity that goes on behind the scenes in our Laboratory, but the department is an integral part of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) hospitals. According to Nina Braswell, Director of Laboratory Services at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern), about 75 to 80 percent of the information our doctors use to treat, monitor and diagnose patients comes directly from the CTCA lab.
Braswell has been with CTCA since 2008, starting first with the Laboratory at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern). Joining her at Southeastern are three experienced lab technicians who assist in making sure CTCA doctors receive accurate laboratory results in a timely manner. Overall, our Laboratory staff has almost 70 years of combined experience working in a lab setting.
The Laboratory is located right inside the CTCA hospital, and most testing will be performed as it is received. The goal for sample turnaround time is under two hours.
Key divisions of the Laboratory include processing, chemistry/tumor marker tests, blood bank, coagulation, urinalysis and hematology.
One of the major tests this division performs is tumor marker tests. Tumor markers are utilized to detect the presence of cancer and to monitor a patient’s response to therapy. Tumor markers are blood-borne substances produced by cancer cells.
Chemistries and tumor marker tests are run on the Vitros 5600. Our turnaround time for tumor marker testing is approximately two hours from the time the blood is drawn until the Laboratory has completed testing.
One specialty within the Laboratory is transfusion medicine, otherwise known as the blood bank. Medical Technologists in the blood bank are responsible for insuring that blood products given to patients are compatible with each patient’s blood.
Our state-of-the-art blood bank computer system provides instant access to thousands of patient and donor records.
The Stago Compact is used to monitor how the blood clots and any anticoagulant therapy the patient might be taking.
In urinalysis, the patient’s urine is analyzed for signs of urinary tract infection, kidney problems, diabetes and more.
Hematology is the study of blood cells. Tests performed by this team include complete blood counts (CBC), differentials, body fluid analysis and bone marrow procedures. These tests provide vital information for treating our patients, and the results are used to monitor their general health. Cancer therapy typically attacks rapidly growing cancer cells, but can also affect blood cells. CBCs are used to gage a patient’s ability to receive additional therapy.
CBCs are helpful in confirming anemias (low red blood cell numbers), infections (high white blood cell numbers), bleeding disorders (low platelet numbers) and to some extent, bone marrow activity. Bone marrow is the main source of blood cell production.
Sysmex XE-5000 is the advanced technology that performs blood cell counts that aid our physicians in treating and monitoring chemotherapy.
The Laboratory at Southeastern is open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A laboratory technician is always on call nights and weekends for any emergencies that may arise.