Common on-call topics in clinical pathology

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Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]


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Most useful local documents

If you're on-call, know where to find local policies, manuals and procedures that are relevant to the departments you may receive calls from. The following local documents are generally most important:

  • Blood bank:
  • Cutoff values for blood product transfusions. Further information: Blood bank
  • The NHSN Biovigilance document on evaluating suspected transfusion reactions.
  • Chemistry
  • Package inserts for instruments used in the laboratory
  • Cutoffs for classifying various test results as critical, and how you are going to proceed in such cases.

Also keep an updated telephone list, including the supervisors for relevant departments.

Blood bank

Topics with individual articles:

Plasma compatibility
Recipient vertical.png O Check-41-108-41-green.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg
A Arbcom ru declined.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg Arbcom ru declined.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg
B Arbcom ru declined.svg Arbcom ru declined.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg
AB Arbcom ru declined.svg Arbcom ru declined.svg Arbcom ru declined.svg Check-41-108-41-green.svg
Incompatible plasma

In emergencies, it is acceptable to approve plasma that is ABO incompatible or possibly incompatible (such as from a type A donor to a recipient with unknown blood type).

Other topics with individual articles

Suspected falsely low TSH

If a clinician thinks a TSH result is falsely low (generally signs of hypothyroidism but TSH is not elevated), first check with the lab if their TSH assay is susceptible to high patient biotin levels, and if it is, ask the clinician if the patient takes biotin supplementation, which can explain the low TSH levels.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

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