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Common Source of Error in Medical Laboratory Essay

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The literature review was done to gather the information about the most common source of error in the medical laboratory. The majority of errors come from the pre-analytical phase that is considered the basis for all laboratory works. Pre-pre-analytic and true pre-analytic are two areas of the pre-analytical phase (Plebani, 2012). Test selection, patient identification, sample collection, preparation and handling are part of the pre-pre-analytical process, while storing, pipetting and centrifugation sample are actual pre-analytical processes (Hawkins, 2012; Plebani, 2012). Missing any steps in the previous processes will cause errors related to the pre-analytical phase. In addition, pre-analytical errors can result in lack of trust from the patient and medical staff, economic consequences to the patient as well as the medical laboratory department, and unfavourable implication on the medical laboratory department.
As noted in a review of the retrieved articles, the pre-analytical phase is the main source of errors in the laboratory department (Plebani, 2012). Missing patient’s identification, missing samples, and using inappropriate tubes or containers are the most common pre-analytical errors occurring outside the laboratory domain (Plebani, 2012). Missing patient identification includes unlabeled samples and incorrect name and file number (Layfield et al., 2010). Missing samples indicate that the specimen was drawn from the patient, but the laboratory did not receive the sample.
Further, transporting the sample under improper environmental conditions or delays in the sample transportation is considered an error in the pre-pre-analytical phase (Felder, 2011). For example, arterial blood gases samples must be sent in the syringe ...


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... Pathology, 134, 466-470.
Plebani, M. & Piva, E. (2010). Medical Errors: Pre-Analytical Issue in Patient Safety. Journal of Medical Biochemistry, 29 (4), 310-314.
Plebani, M. (2012). Quality Indicators to Detect Pre-Analytical Errors in Laboratory Testing. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 33 (3), 85-88.
Rin, G. (2010). Pre-Analytical Workstations as a Tool for Reducing Laboratory Errors. Journal of Medical Biochemistry, 29 (4), 315-324.
Sharma, P. (2009). Preanalytical Variables and Laboratory Performance. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 24 (2), 109-110.
Wallin, O., Soderberg, J., Van Guelpen, B., Stenlund, H., Grankvist, K. & Brulin, C. (2010). Blood Sample Collection and Patient Identification Demand Improvement: A Questionnaire Study of Preanalytical Practices in Hospital Wards and Laboratories. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 24 (3), 581-591.



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