LAURIUM, Mich. – Laboratory testing is a critical part of ensuring the health and safety of our community. So much of what laboratory technicians do is behind the scenes, but the critical test results they provide is what allows doctors and specialists to make the best possible treatment decisions for patients.
Since the new emergency department and surgical services unit expansion, growth in services has prompted the need for more advanced blood-testing technologies to support all areas of excellent patient care at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and Clinics.
“While the lab supports the entire hospital and clinics, three of the biggest areas we have seen significant growth is in surgical services, cancer care and trauma,” said Petio Kotov, MD, Pathologist and Laboratory Medical Director with Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital. “Our newly upgraded technology now allows us to provide even faster, accurate lab results for patients so that physicians can determine the next steps for treatment sooner.”
Installed in the lab blood bank, the new Immucor Echo technology replaces many manual steps previously involved in cross-matching a patient’s blood type prior to having a transfusion. Cross-matching is an important process because it ensures patients receive compatible donor units of blood.
There are many reasons patients may need a blood transfusion: after knee or hip replacement surgery, or other major surgery, after a serious injury or when the body cannot make enough blood.Transfusions are given for three types of blood products: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. In 2016, Aspirus performed 509 transfusions.
Aspirus Keweenaw is the first hospital in the western Upper Peninsula to automate its blood type and test processes. Laboratory staff invested countless hours training onsite with a specialist from Immucor.
“Delivering exceptional care is highly dependent on accurate and timely results and that’s what our goal is, to deliver our patients with the highest levels of care, safety and efficiencies,” Dr. Kotovadded. “Although you may not see us because we work behind the scenes, everything that we do helps to ensure our doctors and specialists have the information they need to help our community stay healthy and safe.”
About Aspirus Keweenaw Laboratory Services include all primary labs (blood/urine/stool) to support a patient’s doctor visit, anatomic pathology, blood banking, blood drives and donations, chemistry, hematology, and microbiology. The main lab is located on the second floor of Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium and is open 24 hours a day to support the inpatient unit, emergency department and surgical services. Both labs at Aspirus Houghton Clinic and Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital are COLA-Accredited.
Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. With more than 7,000 employees, Aspirus serves communities throughout the western Upper Peninsula and northern and central Wisconsin. The integrated system includes four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and helicopter transport, medical goods, nursing homes and high-quality affiliated physicians.
For more information, visit aspirus.org.